The University of Manchester has paid tribute to their former student, Jack Merritt, who was fatally stabbed at a prisoner rehabilitation conference he was coordinating in London on 29th November.
Jack graduated from The University of Manchester in 2016 with a degree in Law, before going on to study further at The University of Cambridge.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester, said the staff were all “shocked and saddened” to learn of the former student’s death, in such tragic circumstances.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time. We are also thinking of all those affected by this appalling incident in London.”
Dr Hannah Quirk said: “I taught him at Manchester and wrote his reference for Cambridge. He was an exceptional student and a lovely young man.”
The event held at Fishmonger’ Hall in London, was partly organised by Jack for the Learning Together organisation, was also attended by some University of Manchester staff who are specialists in Criminology. His attacker, Usman Khan, had attended the conference.
A vigil was held in Cambridge on Monday to pay tribute to Jack and Saskia Jones, the second victim of the attack.
Merritt’s family, from Cottenham in Cambridgeshire, have asked for his death not to be used to justify the introduction of “even more draconian sentences” for offenders. Jack’s father has also condemned the politicisation of the attack by the media amidst the general election campaign.
His family said: “He lit up our lives and the lives of his many friends and colleagues, and we will miss him terribly.
“Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.
“We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary.”