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Killer who took down terrorist – ‘I was a hero – now I’m just a murderer again’

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The man who fought off a terrorist on London Bridge has said that the recent attack in Liverpool had brought "flashbacks".

John Crilly was going to an ex-offenders education conference at Fishmongers' Hall on November 29, 2019.

He was labelled as a hero on the day, after using a fire extinguisher to fight off terrorist Usman Khan, who was wearing a suicide vest – potentially saving the lives of many people.

Stoke-born Khan died at the scene, after stabbing Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, organisers of the Learning Together conference in the chest – killing them both.

He also injured three other people.

It was thought he was inspired by terror group Al-Qaeda.

Opening up about that day, and his life since, he told The Mirror: "It’s hard for me to feel positive about anything. I was never a great sleeper, but it’s got a lot worse.

"That first day we were heroes, then by day two, we were murderers.

Where've the lessons been learned when you see what happened in Liverpool?

"I’m used to errors in the justice system, but the errors that came out in the inquest from every department were mind-blowing – how much they missed was madness, and the errors were ridiculous."

The attack at Liverpool Women's Hospital earlier this month by Emad Al Swealmeen saw the bomber as the only causality of the attack, as he was killed in the blast in a taxi as the driver miraculously managed to flee the vehicle and survive.

Mr Crilly was imprisoned for a robbery in 2005.

It went wrong and his co-defendant killed 71-year-old Augustine Maduemezia with a single punch.

Mr Crilly said that he has been waiting eight months for news from the Criminal Cases Review Commission as to whether or not his 18-year sentence for manslaughter will be reduced.

His lawyers have always maintained that the sentence was "disproportionate".

He said: "We have spoken to the Ministry of Justice about reducing my licence after what happened at Fishmongers Hall, but there’s been no decision in eight months."

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  • Terror
  • Murder
  • London

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