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World Oxford University cancels prison scheme which London Bridge victim Jack Merritt was due to open today as it's revealed Cambridge professors behind idea witnessed knife rampage

23:16  02 december  2019
23:16  02 december  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Oxford University cancels prison scheme which London Bridge victim Jack Merritt was due to open today as it ' s revealed Cambridge professors behind idea witnessed knife rampage . London Bridge terror attack unfolded at conference for prison -student scheme . A similar programme run by

Ex- Cambridge student Jack Merritt , 25, was due to speak to 100 undergraduates at Balliol College in Oxford about the scheme at HMP Grendon in Oxford University has suspended its prison literature course which was due to be opened this morning by a London Bridge terror attack victim .

 Video provided by Press Association

Oxford University has suspended its prison literature course which was due to be opened this morning by London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt.

a person wearing a suit and tie: Jack Merritt, one of the two terror attack victims on London Bridge, was due to open a prison education course today but the course has been cancelled in the wake of the attack © Provided by Daily Mail Jack Merritt, one of the two terror attack victims on London Bridge, was due to open a prison education course today but the course has been cancelled in the wake of the attack

Ex-Cambridge student Mr Merritt, 25, was due to speak to 100 undergraduates at Balliol College about the scheme at HMP Grendon in Buckinghamshire.

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The first victim of the London Bridge attack has been named as Jack Merritt , a 25-year-old who worked for a programme aimed at Jack Merritt ’ s Twitter feed reveals that he took a close interest in promoting social justice issues. In response to his father’ s comments, people who knew him shared

Vigils for the victims of the London Bridge attack have been held in London and Cambridge . Image caption Jack Merritt was a co-ordinator of the Learning Together programme and Saskia "The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another, but it ' s by focussing on the

But he and fellow graduate Saskia Jones, 23, were fatally stabbed on Friday by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, during a prisoner rehabilitation event near London Bridge.

a castle on top of a grass covered field: Mr Merritt was due to speak about a literature course at HMP Grendon in Buckinghamshire © Provided by Daily Mail Mr Merritt was due to speak about a literature course at HMP Grendon in Buckinghamshire

The course was due to organised by Learning Together, a prison education programme associated with Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology.

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Oxford University cancels prison scheme which London Bridge The vigils took place as West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man arrested in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts had been recalled to prison due to a breach of his licence conditions.

London Bridge attack: PM says automatic early prison release is not working - video. Two people were killed, a man and a woman. The man has been named as 25-year-old Jack Merritt , the course coordinator for Learning Together, a programme run by the University of Cambridge ’ s institute of

A spokesman for Balliol College tweeted today: 'Jack Merritt was due this morning at Balliol to talk to 100 enthused undergraduates about a proposed literature course at HMP Grendon. We remember Jack's passionate commitment to helping others.' 

Friday's terrorist attack unfolded at a five-year celebratory conference for Learning Together, a scheme run by Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology to allow prisoners and criminology academics to meet.

Second victim of London Bridge attack is named as 23-year-old former Cambridge student who was volunteering at prisoner rehabilitaion conference where terrorist's knife frenzy began

  Second victim of London Bridge attack is named as 23-year-old former Cambridge student who was volunteering at prisoner rehabilitaion conference where terrorist's knife frenzy began Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, died alongside Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham after Usman Khan went on a stabbing frenzy in London on Friday.Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, died alongside Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, after Usman Khan, 28, went on a deadly knife frenzy in London on Friday.

London Bridge killer and the hate preacher: Terrorist Usman Khan is pictured with notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary The terrorist was shot dead by police after killing Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones. ' It ' s mad to think the day after we saw him acting strange he was on the rampage in London .'

Other victim Jack Merritt was a coordinator at the prisoner rehab conference. The second victim of the London Bridge terror attack left a poignant past message on social media as her Friends said her attitude to life was summed up by her favourite motto: ' It ' s not whether you get knocked down, it ' s

Stephen Toope wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Professor Stephen Toope has defended the work of the programme which was working with London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan © Provided by Daily Mail Professor Stephen Toope has defended the work of the programme which was working with London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan

It has since been trumpeted by criminology professors and expanded to other universities, including Oxford. 

Speaking on Radio 4's Today this morning, the vice chancellor of Cambridge Professor Stephen Toope declined to say whether the programme would continue following the atrocity.

a close up of a man: Khan was attending a celebratory session of the programme when he started his attack and killed co-coordinator Jack Merritt and volunteer Saskia Jones © Provided by Daily Mail Khan was attending a celebratory session of the programme when he started his attack and killed co-coordinator Jack Merritt and volunteer Saskia Jones

He said both academics who set up the scheme, Cambridge professors Ruth Armstrong and Amy Ludlow, were at the event in London's Fishmonger's Hall when Khan started his knife attack.

He said: 'I spent about an hour and a half with them yesterday and of course they are absolutely devastated by what has happened. They are deeply sad. They knew both Jack and Saskia well, working with them closely and admired them deeply.'

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The second victim was also a Cambridge student, it was revealed today , although she has not yet Mr Merritt was the course co-ordinator for Learning Together, an education scheme run by the Officers stand behind a police cordon on London Bridge today as investigations continue two days

Forensic personnel on London Bridge in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people “I am sad beyond words to report that a course co-ordinator, Jack Merritt , was killed, as was a former student not yet named by the Metropolitan Police

Prof Toope insisted the scheme had been held up as an example of 'best practice' by a 2016 review of prison education.

He said: 'We're really not thinking about the future but I will say this is a programme that's been in existence for five years. It's done extremely good work.

'This is a dreadful, horrible and tragic situation but we must put it in a context of five years extraordinary work.' 

Prof Toope insisted that risk assessments had been carried out by the university, the Ministry of Justice and the Probation Service ahead of Friday's event and other events held by the programme.

a person posing for the camera: Jack Merritt was killed while working as a co-coordinator for the scheme © Provided by Daily Mail Jack Merritt was killed while working as a co-coordinator for the scheme

Last year, the Cambridge scheme awarded four £5,000 ($AU9,489) bursaries to allow previous and current prisoners to study for an undergraduate certificate in higher education.

The scheme's proponents said they believe there is 'untapped academic talent inside the criminal justice system'. It was previously praised by former Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who said he wanted students to hear from prisoners. 

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a group of people sitting in front of a building: The photograph posted online during the Cambridge University prisoner rehabilitation group at Fishmongers' Hall at which Khan unleashed the attack © Provided by Daily Mail The photograph posted online during the Cambridge University prisoner rehabilitation group at Fishmongers' Hall at which Khan unleashed the attack

Learning Together was set up in 2014 after it received a grant from Cambridge University's Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund (TLIF).

Giving the grant, the fund said the pilot, allowed 'students and offenders (to) jointly study issues around offending and reoffending, and the nature of crime and punishment.' 

The scheme has run eight-week programmes in HMP Grendon, where students and prisoners attended sessions led by Cambridge academics looking at issues such as 'experience of imprisonment' and life after prison.

a person standing posing for the camera: Saskia Jones was killed while working as a volunteer for the scheme © Provided by Daily Mail Saskia Jones was killed while working as a volunteer for the scheme

The programme has since received funding by the British Academy, which is in turn receives taxpayers' money from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The scheme has been trumpeted by academics in criminology and taken up by a number of other universities, although Oxford cancelled its planned prison literature course today. 

a man sitting in front of a laptop computer: Khan, pictured using a laptop, was signed up to the Cambridge University-run programme Learning Together © Provided by Daily Mail Khan, pictured using a laptop, was signed up to the Cambridge University-run programme Learning Together

Terrorist Khan joined Learning Together in prison and, such was his apparent turnaround, the prestigious university invited him to apply for a place as an undergraduate student.  

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Khan's apparent rehabilitation was used as a case study to promote its work.

a screenshot of a newspaper: In one fundraising campaign, members of the programme did a 10 mile run to ensure Khan could have access to a computer © Provided by Daily Mail In one fundraising campaign, members of the programme did a 10 mile run to ensure Khan could have access to a computer

Alongside a picture of the terrorist, it said: 'He gave a speech via video at our fundraising dinner at the Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge. We have equipped Usman with a [laptop] so that he can continue his studies and his writing, which he started in Whitemoor (prison).'

Earlier this year, Khan attended a Whitehall event under police escort. He appeared eager and willing to engage with the Government's Prevent and Desistance and Disengagement programmes, intended to de-radicalise extremists.

Such was his apparent transformation, the fanatic was invited to attend the Cambridge University criminal justice seminar near London Bridge on Friday.

a large stone building with a clock tower: Ex-Cambridge student Mr Merritt was due to speak at Balliol College (above) in Oxford today © Provided by Daily Mail Ex-Cambridge student Mr Merritt was due to speak at Balliol College (above) in Oxford today

He was given special dispensation to travel to London that day because the terms of Khan's early release from jail meant he was not allowed to travel beyond a certain distance from his home in Stafford.

This time he was without an escort - allowing him to fatally stab two people and wound three others before being shot dead by police at the age of 28 as he lay on the bridge wearing a fake suicide vest.

a screenshot of a cell phone: The 25-year-old Cambridge graduate was due to speak to 100 undergraduates at Balliol today © Provided by Daily Mail The 25-year-old Cambridge graduate was due to speak to 100 undergraduates at Balliol today

Dr Ruth Armstrong: Academic behind student-inmate scheme

Dr Ruth Armstrong is an award-winning criminologist who works as a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology.

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According to Cambridge University's website, she worked as a lawyer in Mexico after graduating, before returning to Cambridge to complete her PhD, for which she won the 2013 Nigel Walker Prize.

She set up Learning Together the following year and was later awarded 'Outstanding Individual Award' by the Prisoner Learning Alliance.

She previously campaigned for the release of Dempsey Hawkins, who was deported to Britain in 2017 after his release from prison for the 1976 murder of his 14-year-old girlfriend Susan Jacobson. He was 16 at the time.

After his return to the UK, a woman complained to the Evening Standard newspaper that Hawkins had used an alias to contact her on Meetup.com, without mentioning his previous conviction. At the time, Hawkins said he wanted to focus on his future and hadn't done anything wrong.

Dr Amy Ludlow: Law expert who previously spoke out in defence of the programme

Dr Amy Ludlow is in charge of the law course at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam College having carried out research on how privatisation of prisons affects the 'quality of life' for staff and prisoners.

Along with Dr Ruth Armstrong, she has been behind the Learning Together scheme, which her university biography says is providing insights in 'supporting movements away from crime'.

Last year, she defended four £5,000 ($AU9,489) bursaries given to convicted criminals to study while inside as part of the scheme.

Speaking about the busaries, which were funded by the university and the Longford Trust charity, she told The Daily Telegraph: 'We are interested in future rather than past.'

Dr Ludlow was also in the news in 2017, when she co-produced research on Brexit, which found people had been left 'embarrassed or awkward' in their relationships with EU nationals and had 'anxiety and resentment' over Britain's departure from the EU.

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