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World Can a murderer ever be a hero? A killer on day release tried to save a woman in last week's London Bridge terror attack. Here, the families of the convict and his victim give their passionately opposing views

01:40  07 december  2019
01:40  07 december  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Man shot by police after London Bridge 'terror stabbing'

  Man shot by police after London Bridge 'terror stabbing' At least one person has been killed in a suspected terror attack around London Bridge. Your browser does not support this video require(["binding"], function (binding) { binding("wcVideoPlayer", "#video_player_df9d3ce2-a3da-4113-8f6d-481c253e7e6f").all(); }); A person is believed to have started attacking people with a knife and was then, according to witnesses, shot by police.Footage circulating on social media showed members of the public initially detaining the man and taking possession of the knife.

That's the question provoked by the killer on day release who tried to save a woman in last week ' s London Bridge Here , the families of the convict and his victim give their views . A few hours after the terror attack at Fishmongers' Hall, James Ford made an emotional phone call to his father.

A man who intervened in the London Bridge terror attack on Friday was on day release from James Ford, 42, was praised after he tried to help a woman who was being attacked by Usman Khan, 28. He cut the victim ’ s throat and dumped her body in a waste ground close to her home in Kent in

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: James Ford has been hailed a hero by some, which has left the family of his victim deeply distressed at hearing praise heaped on the man who took Amanda's life in such a barbaric fashion© Provided by Daily Mail James Ford has been hailed a hero by some, which has left the family of his victim deeply distressed at hearing praise heaped on the man who took Amanda's life in such a barbaric fashion

A few hours after the terror attack at Fishmongers' Hall, James Ford made an emotional phone call to his father.

Ford had been attending a rehabilitation conference in the Grade II-listed building on the edge of London Bridge when Usman Khan went on his deadly knife rampage on Friday last week.

As the early afternoon horror unfolded, Ford raced to the aid of one of Khan's victims, Saskia Jones, trying to protect her and others, then performing CPR in a desperate but ultimately futile bid to save her.

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  3 people injured in Hague stabbing, Dutch police say Three people were wounded in a stabbing in The Hague’s main shopping street Friday night, and police were searching for at least one suspect, authorities said.A Dutch police spokeswoman said it was still too early to say whether a terror motive was to blame for the attack in The Hague.

A man who intervened in the London Bridge terror attack on Friday was on day release from prison after murdering a 21-year-old woman in 2004. Khan, who was 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

A CONVICTED murderer out on day release was part of a group of brave men who took on the London The Samaritans worker told the cops after leaving the job. Terror attack horror. "For him to be called a hero - he is not, he is a cold-blooded murderer . For no reason whatsoever, he

'He was terribly upset,' says Gerald Ford, speaking exclusively to the Mail at his home in Ashford, Kent. 'He knew her. I don't know how long for.

He said: 'I've just lost a friend, Saskia.' He tried to save her life. He gave her CPR.'

In normal circumstances, Gerald would have every right to be fiercely proud of his son, who had selflessly risked his life to try to save someone he cared about and admired, as well as a group of strangers. He was one of the 'good guys'. A fine example of British pluck and grit.

Only, it wasn't as simple as that. The call James made that evening was from an open prison on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, where he is serving the remainder of a life sentence for murder.

In 2003, he stalked, strangled and slit the throat of Amanda Champion, a 21-year-old disabled woman, a heinous crime for which he has never given any explanation or apology.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison describes terrorist knife attack by a man wearing a fake explosive vest in London as a 'despicable act'

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THE two London Bridge terror attack victims died from stab wounds to the chest during the Saskia and Jack' s devastated families paid tribute to them following the terror attack , which came two years after Her family said she " was a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people' s lives".

One of the heroes of yesterday’ s London Bridge attack is a convicted murderer out on day release , it has emerged. […] ‘The police liaison officer called me saying he was on the TV. I am so angry. They let him out without even telling us. Any of my family could have been in London and just

The day of the London Bridge attack, he had been on day release.

What Ford told his father was poignant indeed. For, as the Mail discovered this week, he knew 23-year-old Cambridge criminology graduate Saskia, having met her through her volunteering work with prison inmates.

Thanks to her passionate belief in the possibility of rehabilitating prisoners, he had come to regard her, he told his 73-year-old father, as a friend.

But what are we to make of a man who cold-bloodedly took the life of one young woman, then, nearly 17 years later, tried to save the life of another?

Here, the families of both Ford and his murdered victim exclusively tell the Mail of their feelings after the extraordinary events of last week, which present us with a complex moral conundrum. Can someone who has committed a terrible crime ever truly redeem themself, or be called a hero?

a woman sitting at a table: As the early afternoon horror unfolded, Ford raced to the aid of one of Khan's victims, Saskia Jones, trying to protect her and others, then performing CPR in a desperate but ultimately futile bid to save her© Provided by Daily Mail As the early afternoon horror unfolded, Ford raced to the aid of one of Khan's victims, Saskia Jones, trying to protect her and others, then performing CPR in a desperate but ultimately futile bid to save her

For Ford has been hailed a hero by some, which has left the family of his victim deeply distressed at hearing praise heaped on the man who took Amanda's life in such a barbaric fashion.

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  Who was London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan? The extremist jailed for plan to start terror training camp The judge who sentenced Usman Khan in 2012 warned he would be a danger to society if he was ever let out of prison. Khan had previously conspired to start a terrorist training camp.Khan was released from prison on licence last year after serving eight years in jail for his part in another terror plot.

Killer Khan was a guest at a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation when he launched the attack at historic Fishmongers' Hall He then made his way on to London Bridge - the scene of the 2017 terror attack which killed eight - but was eventually pinned down by heroes who

London Bridge hero John Crilly (left) is on parole and victim Jack Merritt (right) After the attack , in which 23-year-old Saskia Jones was also fatal stabbed, he posted an emotional Heroic bystanders of the London Bridge terror attack use a fire extinguisher and narwhal tusk to chase down attacker.

And while the organisers of the Learning Together conference being held in Fishmongers' Hall that day believe that, given the right environment, all prisoners have the capacity to turn their lives around, others — including Amanda's family — have told the Mail such a view is too simplistic. Put bluntly, they say some crimes are just too evil to forgive.

They also revealed that they were stunned to discover Amanda's murderer had been allowed out on day release and even transferred to an open prison.

'He shouldn't be allowed out,' says Amanda's uncle, 56-year-old David Champion, who raised Amanda as his daughter after her father died.

'I don't think he can change. We've had 16 years tormented by the knowledge of what he did to Amanda. Once you've done something like that, you've done it.

'What's happened has opened a wound. We were not coping but we were just getting on with our lives.'

Amanda's 67-year-old paternal aunt, Linda Ades, adds: 'I cannot forgive the sadistic way he did it. I don't know what they do for people in rehabilitation, but I have no trust in him. He has never said why he did it. Seeing his face again makes me think, why? I'm a forgiver but I can't forgive that.'

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the London Bridge knife terror attack

  The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the London Bridge knife terror attack The Islamic State has claimed responsibility on Saturday for the London Bridge knife terror attack on Friday, where two were killed and three wounded.The Islamic State's Amaq news agency said it was one of its soldiers who carried out the attack, but it hasn't offered any proof.

Citizen heroes rushed in to help during the London Bridge terror attack yesterday, and among Her family are said to have tried to stop Ford being released on parole and only found out he was free when police He is a murderer out on day release , which us as a family didn’t know anything about.

London terror attack breaking news, photos and videos on the London Bridge attack and Westminster Bridge attack plus more on ISIS Usman Khan was spotted laughing at videos of the 9/1 terror attacks in New York in a cafe. His behaviour led police to raid his parents three-bedroom

Amanda's family point out that Ford's apparent grief at the death of Saskia is in stark contrast to the lack of emotion he displayed after killing Amanda, a young woman with learning disabilities and the mental age of a 15-year-old.

Police officers told her family that during the weeks before Amanda was found, Ford returned to her body several times.

When he was finally tracked down by police, he was found with books and pornography relating to death.

At his sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court in 2004, a judge described his crime as 'an act of wickedness' and said he had 'an interest in the macabre and also an obsession with death, including murder by throat-cutting'.

And a senior Kent Police officer said: 'In his own mind he is telling us he doesn't know why he did this and that makes him very dangerous to me.'

Ford was only caught because of a tip-off to police from a Samaritans volunteer. He had telephoned the charity within minutes of killing Amanda, confessing what he had done before hanging up.

He called a further 45 times expressing suicidal thoughts before Kent-based volunteer Ray Osborne decided to break the charity's strict confidentiality rule, fearing Ford might kill again.

a person wearing glasses: Amanda's family point out that Ford's apparent grief at the death of Saskia is in stark contrast to the lack of emotion he displayed after killing Amanda, above, a young woman with learning disabilities and the mental age of a 15-year-old© Provided by Daily Mail Amanda's family point out that Ford's apparent grief at the death of Saskia is in stark contrast to the lack of emotion he displayed after killing Amanda, above, a young woman with learning disabilities and the mental age of a 15-year-old

Despite being forced to resign from the Samaritans for doing so, Osborne said at the time: 'I had to. I couldn't have lived with myself if he had done it again and I hadn't told anyone. I would do the same thing again.'

Grieving parents of Australian au pair, 21, stabbed to death on London Bridge by terrorists in 2017 slams UK authorities for not learning from their daughter's death

  Grieving parents of Australian au pair, 21, stabbed to death on London Bridge by terrorists in 2017 slams UK authorities for not learning from their daughter's death The grieving parents of Queensland nanny Sara Zelenak stabbed to death in London Bridge two years ago are heartbroken and angry after another terrorist has claimed more lives in the same spot. Queenslander Sara Zelenak, 21, was one of eight people and two Australian women killed in the London Bridge terror attack in June 2017.Her mother and stepfather Julie and Mark Wallace believe the UK authorities haven't learned from Sara's death after convicted terrorist Usman Khan murdered Brits Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, on London Bridge last Friday.The couple have slammed authorities for not monitoring Khan more closely.

Exclusive interview with London Bridge terror hero Millwall fan Roy Larner. Over weeks , detailed evidence about whether the attack could have been stopped There are five threat levels, decided by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of an attack .

London Bridge hero Lukasz accosted the terrorist with the priceless hornCredit: KNS News. Three people, one man and two women , were rushed to hospital on Friday night - and one was in critical Another hero is a kitchen porter named only as Mohammed who is said to have tackled Khan on his

Detectives were able to trace Ford's next call, leading to his arrest in October 2003, three months after Amanda's murder. He immediately confessed and pleaded guilty before being sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation that he should serve at least 15 years before being given parole.

While the former grammar school pupil is said to have put his time in prison to good use, completing a maths degree and taking part in a groundbreaking rehabilitation programme which saw him invited to London on November 29, the dead girl's family say he has never given an explanation for his evil deed. He has certainly never apologised or asked for their forgiveness.

In the South Willesborough area of Ashford where Amanda lived and where she was killed, news of Ford's actions in the aftermath of the terror attack does not sit comfortably with memories of Amanda and her horrible death.

Her badly decomposed body was discovered three weeks after her death, on wasteland beside a footpath, by a boy playing hide-and-seek. A memorial bench, engraved with her name, has been positioned close by.

Ford, an amateur wrestler who fought under the names The Executioner, The Hangman and Jacob the Convict, was employed at a plastics reclamation factory on the opposite side of a railway line to the small block of flats where Amanda had recently set up her first home.

A slightly built, bespectacled young woman, just 5ft tall, she had a job packing holiday brochures for BP Travel Marketing Services at a nearby industrial estate and was a familiar sight to locals, who saw her walking to and from work, always with her head down.

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Convicted murderer on day release helped pin down terrorist. They warned just this week about the massive task of preventing atrocities on British soil in the wake of Manchester. Did you see the London Bridge terror attack , or know anyone involved? Please contact The Sun newsdesk on 020

Map of Westminster Bridge and London Bridge attacks . “It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the Duncan Smith said that was one of the things May was referring to when she spoke about toughening anti- terror laws. Last suspects in London Bridge attack released .

One of Ford's former colleagues remembers how he used to show off at work, lifting large pallets above his head and throwing them 'like a strongman'.

Another local, who asked to remain anonymous, adds: 'I used to see her walking along here. She was always on her own. He probably just used to see her walking along and thought he'd take advantage. Have you read about what he did to her? It wasn't good.'

Ford, who was 27 at the time, 6ft 2in tall and 15st, dragged Amanda into the undergrowth and throttled her from behind using a specialist chokehold he had learned while wrestling. She was already dead when he cut her throat.

What was particularly troubling about the killing, as Judge Andrew Patience said at Ford's trial, was that Amanda was 'so vulnerable'.

Aside from her learning difficulties, she'd had a difficult childhood. Her mother had left the family home when she was 12 and she was only 19 when her father died in 2001.

Her uncle David took her in and raised her alongside his own daughters, helping her find work and,when she wanted a home of her own, a council flat just a mile away from his own home. The whole family helped her decorate and furnish it and threw her a housewarming party.

Every weekend she returned to stay at David's and eat Sunday lunch with the family.

He describes Amanda as 'kind, gentle and tiny'. 'She loved animals and loved singing R Kelly's I Believe I Can Fly at family karaoke sessions,' he says.

Amanda was murdered on Thursday, July 3. The alarm was raised when she didn't show up for work the next day.

Three weeks on, police officers arrived on David's doorstep with her blue fleece and trainers and asked if he recognised them.

The house's occupants were soon plunged into another nightmare.

'The whole family had to be DNA tested [as part of the quest to find DNA evidence of the killer],' explains David. 'Even the children had to give bits of their hair.

Convicted murderer James Ford who confronted London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan while on day release is moved to new jail after death threats

  Convicted murderer James Ford who confronted London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan while on day release is moved to new jail after death threats James Ford, 42, tried to save Saskia Jones, 23, by performing CPR after she was fatally stabbed by Khan in the attack which also killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt. He has been moved to a new prison.James Ford, 42, tried to save Saskia Jones, 23, by performing CPR after she was fatally stabbed by Khan in the attack which also killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt.

Last night, our country fell victim to a brutal terrorist attack once again. As a result I have just chaired a meeting of the Government’ s emergency committee It continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market, where three terrorists left the van and attacked innocent and unarmed civilians with

'The girls, who were 12 and 16 at the time, took it badly. We just told them we had to do it 'because we don't know who's hurt Amanda at the moment'. They still have nightmares today.'

David attended every one of Ford's court appearances. 'When I first saw him there was no expression,' he says.

'There was no expression on the day he was sentenced. There was nothing on his face.'

Ford's father Gerald didn't go to Maidstone Crown Court to see his son being sentenced. His mother, Pamela, died from cancer in 2001.

'He pleaded guilty,' says his father. 'What he did was wrong. He deserved to go to prison. That's what happens if you kill somebody.

'I don't like what he did. I'm not proud of what he did. But I have been proud of him since he went to prison. He's got a maths degree and was studying.'

Ford was exactly the kind of person the founders of Learning Together, a Cambridge University initiative, were focusing on.

The highly innovative project saw Cambridge students and prisoners studying together at Category B HMP Grendon, in Buckinghamshire.

Its organisers, Dr Ruth Armstrong and Dr Amy Ludlow, say the course has 'dismantled stereotypes and prejudice in both directions'.

Those, like Ford, who take part in the eight-week course participate in weekly sessions, each lasting two-and-a-half hours, involving students from the prison and post-graduate students, like Saskia, studying for the Cambridge University M Phil in criminology.

According to Dr Armstrong, a research associate in Criminology at St John's College, Cambridge: 'What we show people in prison is that they are not fixed and defined by their offending, but that there are avenues for them to progress. That's a very powerful message.'

a store inside of a building: The family and friends of Saskia Jones and 25-year-old conference co-ordinator Jack Merritt, who had worked with Khan and also lost his life that day, have, too, expressed a wish that their deaths should not detract from their work© Provided by Daily Mail The family and friends of Saskia Jones and 25-year-old conference co-ordinator Jack Merritt, who had worked with Khan and also lost his life that day, have, too, expressed a wish that their deaths should not detract from their work

What is clear, however, is that in the case of Usman Khan, who was convicted of terror offences over the failed London Stock Exchange bomb plot in February 2012, attempts at rehabilitation failed, even though he completed two schemes during the eight years he spent in prison: a Healthy Identity Intervention Programme in 2010 and a Desistance and Disengagement Programme after his release a year ago.

He had previously been featured as a success story on Learning Together's website and had written a poem in thanks after the organisation helped him acquire a laptop to further his studies.

Supporters of the scheme argue that its message should not be forgotten in light of last Friday's killings. But, inevitably, that day's tragic deaths have reignited debate about how radicalised prisoners should be handled.

Former prison governor David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University and chair of the Friends of Grendon, one of the prisons where Learning Together ran, says: 'What they have achieved should not be undermined by the London Bridge attack. I am obviously aware that two prisoners were involved, the attacker and a second who tried to prevent it.'

There is no doubt that for some prisoners, rehabilitation can work. Another man who intervened to try to stop Khan's murderous attack was Marc Conway, an ex-offender who has served time in prison and is now a policy officer for the Prison Reform Trust, as well as studying for degrees in psychology and criminology. He was among the men who brought Khan down on London Bridge.

The family and friends of Saskia Jones and 25-year-old conference co-ordinator Jack Merritt, who had worked with Khan and also lost his life that day, have, too, expressed a wish that their deaths should not detract from their work.

Ford's father says his son has been receiving counselling since the attack.

David Champion, however, says he was given no help, despite suffering a nervous breakdown after Amanda's death: 'I always blamed myself and thought, 'Should I have let her leave home? Should I have wrapped her up in cotton wool instead?' '

The Mail has learnt that Ford could be released from prison as early as October next year.

His parole hearing is due to start in April and he is believed to be asking to be allowed to return to Ashford.

He will no doubt argue that, after 15 years in prison, he is reformed and wants nothing more than a second chance. For Amanda's family, such an idea is abhorrent.

Another of her paternal aunts, Angela Cox, says: 'He should have been locked up and the key thrown away. My niece doesn't have a choice to walk the streets. He's not a hero. He's a murderer.'

Read more

Convicted murderer James Ford who confronted London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan while on day release is moved to new jail after death threats .
James Ford, 42, tried to save Saskia Jones, 23, by performing CPR after she was fatally stabbed by Khan in the attack which also killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt. He has been moved to a new prison.James Ford, 42, tried to save Saskia Jones, 23, by performing CPR after she was fatally stabbed by Khan in the attack which also killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt.

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