Murderer who tackled London Bridge terrorist is NO hero, says victim’s family

A convicted murderer who was among the heroes who tackled the London Bridge terrorist “is no hero”, the family of his disabled victim have raged.

Daily Star Online reported earlier how James Ford, 42, was allegedly one of the men who tried to stop Usman Khan during a stabbing rampage yesterday.

Ford was said to have tried to save a woman’s life after she was knifed by Khan during a the horror terror attack which left two people dead.

It was reported how Ford had previously been jailed for life – with a minimum of 15 years – in April 2004 for the murder of a 21-year-old woman with learning difficulties.

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Amanda Champion – who had the mental age of a 15-year-old – was found strangled and with her throat cut near her home in Ashford, Kent, in July 2003.

According to the Mail Online, Amanda’s family had tried to block Ford’s parole.

But yesterday they were stunned to find out he had been released in a phone call from their police liaison officer.

Government sources reportedly said that Ford – who had been serving the final days of his sentence at HMP Standford Hill, an open prison in Kent – had been on London Bridge yesterday.

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But despite his part in trying to stop crazed Khan, who was shot dead by cops after a dramatic scuffle with members of the public, Amanda’s aunt Angela Cox, 65, has fumed: “He is not a hero.”

She said: “He is a murderer out on day release, which us as a family didn't know anything about. He murdered a disabled girl. He is not a hero, absolutely not.

“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 bumped into him.

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“It was a hell of a shock. It is a horrible thing. She said, 'Have you heard about the incident in London today?' and I hadn't. She said, 'Put in on now and you will see James Ford on the telly.”

“She said, ‘Don't worry, it is not him that's done anything, he's there and he is being classed as a hero'.

"For him to be called a hero – he is not, he is a cold-blooded murderer. For no reason whatsoever, he just went out and murdered a disabled person.

"I don't care what he's done today, he's a murderer. He is scum. Amanda was my niece and she was vulnerable and he took her life.

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"He knew what he was doing. People don't change."

Ford has never revealed his motive for killing Amanda.

A judge told him at his sentencing: “What you did was an act of wickedness.

“You clearly have an interest in the macabre and also an obsession with death including murder by throat cutting.

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“Amanda happened to be walking through that area of woodland at the wrong time. You grabbed hold of her, strangled her and cut her throat, causing her to suffer a terrible and lonely death.”

Before Khan made it to the bridge in yesterday’s attack, he was first attending a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation at Fishmongers' Hall, at the north end of London Bridge.

The terrorist had been attending the event, where dozens of people – including students and former prisoners – were present, when he threatened to blow the building up and launched his attack.

He proceeded onto the bridge where he was then pinned down to the ground by heroic passers-by.

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Moments later armed cops arrived as they urged the brave men to step back before firing two shots at Khan, shooting him dead.

Khan reportedly unzipped his coat after the shots to reveal a fake suicide vest and onlookers fled further away from the scene.

Last night Scotland Yard named convicted terrorist Khan, 28, as the terror attacker.

The Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu revealed the attacker was previously convicted for eight years for plotting to blow up the London Stock Exchange and build an Islamic terror training camp.

He was released from prison in December last year.

Mr Bass also confirmed that the two victims who were killed were a man and woman, while another three people were taken to hospital including a man and two women.

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