Mother of woman killed in London Bridge attack calls for legislation to stop another family being 'torn apart in similar circumstances' - The Rugby Observer

Mother of woman killed in London Bridge attack calls for legislation to stop another family being 'torn apart in similar circumstances'

Rugby Editorial 4th Dec, 2020   0

THE MOTHER of a Stratford woman killed in an attack on London Bridge is calling for legislation to stop another family being ‘torn apart in similar circumstances’.

Saskia Jones was stabbed to death on November 29 2019 while volunteering at a prisoner rehabilitation programme at Fishmongers Hall next to the bridge.

Her friend and fellow Cambridge University graduate, 25-year-old Jack Merritt was also killed in the attack by 28-year-old Usman Khan – who was then shot dead by police.

Khan was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he attended the conference. He was half way through a 16-year sentence for terrorism offences and had been released from jail in 2018.

A year on from the attack 23-year-old Saskia’s mum, Michelle Jones, is calling for a new law to ensure proper security measures are in place at events.

She said: “It is a year since Saskia lost her life at the ‘Learning Together’ event in London. We would like to thank all of those people who have supported the family during what has been an extremely difficult 12 months, in particular Saskia’s close friends who have been a pillar of strength while dealing with their own grief and loss.

“We have no doubt it would be Saskia’s wish to concentrate on the positives and continue with her efforts to make a change in the world. In order to do this, we have been looking at several legacies in Saskia’s name that could be the foundation of improving the lives of others from the many causes she supported.

“Although it is early days, we will be taking part in consultations to launch a new law for businesses and operators of public spaces who hold events. This legislation will ensure that proper security measures are in place to avoid another family being torn apart in similar circumstances.”

The family is also working with government to take into account dissertation research Saskia carried out as part of an ongoing rape review. The review looks at how rape and sexual violence are handled across the criminal justice system and is an area Saskia was passionate about.

Relatives are also working to create a national award in her name in the field of sexual violence. The ’Limelight’ award will be given to sexual violence liason officers in universities.

Michelle also said in the year since her death, members of the public and friends have contributed to Saskia’s chosen charity Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance which is something her daughter would be ‘grateful and proud’ of.

And a scholarship is being created in Saskia’s name at her former university.

Anglia Ruskin University has worked with the family to create a PhD Scholarship in Saskia’s name which will allow students to continue with the research that Saskia began during her time there.

Michelle said: “It was a place close to Saskia’s heart that gave her the opportunity to finally find her career path within ‘victim support’ in the field of policing.”

And university vice chancellor Professor Roderick Watkins added: “Saskia’s brutal and sudden death affected our community most deeply.

“I hope that, in this small way, we can ensure Saskia’s memory is kept very much alive at ARU, and that her passion and determination inspire other outstanding ARU students to help build a safer, more inclusive future.”


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