London Bridge victims died after being stabbed in chest, inquest hears

The two victims of the London Bridge terror attack died after being stabbed in the chest, an inquest has heard.

University of Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and 23-year-old Saskia Jones were killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan during his deadly rampage last Friday.

Mr Merritt was working as a co-ordinator at a prisoner rehabilitation conference at Fishmongers' Hall where Khan launched his attack, while Ms Jones was a volunteer at the event.

At the Old Bailey on Wednesday, City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt opened and adjourned inquests into the two victims' deaths.

Detective Superintendent Desmond McHugh told the hearing that police were called at 1.58pm on Friday following reports that "a male was attacking delegates at the event within Fishmongers' Hall".

Ms Jones was pronounced dead at the hall at 2.25pm, while Mr Merritt died in nearby William Street at 3.14pm having been moved on a stretcher by police, he added.

Pathologist Dr Fegan-Earl said each victim died from shock and haemorrhaging as a result of a stab wound to the chest.

They had both been attacked inside the hall, the hearing was told.

An inquest was also opened into the death of Khan, who was shot dead by police on London Bridge following his attack.

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Dr Fegan-Earl said the 28-year-old died from shock and haemorrhage due to multiple gun shot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

Mr McHugh told the hearing that Khan was pronounced dead on the bridge at 3.07pm.

Khan, armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, was tackled by members of the public before he was shot dead by police on London Bridge.

Three other people were injured in his attack, two are said to be in a stable condition in hospital while the third has returned home.

The inquest hearing into the victims' deaths heard Ms Jones had graduated from Cambridge University in the summer of 2018 with a master's degree in criminology and had applied to join West Midlands Police.

She was said to be "passionate about victim support" and planned to use her role in the police to further her PhD at Oxford University.

Mr Merritt also had a master's degree in criminology at Cambridge having already completed a law degree at Manchester University.

The full inquest into the victims' deaths will be heard by the chief coroner of England and Wales, Mark Lucraft QC, at a date to be fixed, the hearing was told.

The inquest hearings come just months after the conclusion of the Old Bailey inquests into the deaths of eight victims of the 2017 London Bridge terror attack.