Fundraiser for reformed prisoner who fought London Bridge terrorist

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A fundraising page has been set up for a reformed prisoner who was hailed a hero after he confronted London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan with a fire extinguisher.

John Crilly, 48, was a close friend of one of Khan’s two victims, Jack Merritt, 25, who helped to rehabilitate him.

The Cambridge University graduate was stabbed to death alongside friend and colleague Saskia Jones, 23, during a prisoner rehabilitation event at nearby Fishmongers' Hall on November 29.

Mr Crilly was attending the event, having been released from jail on licence last year.

He had served 13 years behind bars after being convicted of murdering 71-year-old Augustine Maduemezia.

He and his associate David Flynn broke into the pensioner’s Manchester flat and the victim died from a blow struck by Flynn.

Mr Crilly’s murder conviction was made under the joint enterprise law - where defendants were prosecuted for murder even if they did not strike the fatal blow.

However it was later quashed after a Supreme Court ruling said the law had been misinterpreted and he went on to plead guilty to manslaughter.

A GoFundMe page has now been set up by Gloria Morrison, co-founder of Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (Jengba), which has supported Mr Crilly, so that he can “rebuild his life with some level of comfort”.

Ms Morrison told talkRADIO that Mr Crilly was a “remarkable man” and that since his release life has been “very, very difficult”.

“He’s an amazing individual and I think his actions proved that people can turn their lives around,” she told Eamonn Holmes.

She added: “He has had it very difficult when he’s got out and also, you’re on probation so you constantly have to tread on eggshells to make sure you’re not recalled.

“He was at one point recalled but thank goodness our lawyers managed to get him released because otherwise more people would have died that Friday.”

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