Convicted terrorist Usman Khan stopped receiving regular visits from mentors aimed at preventing him from reoffending due to Home Office contract dispute weeks before his deadly attack on Fishmongers’ Hall, investigation finds .

In November 2019, less than a year after being released from licensed prison, Khan killed Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones during a prison education event in the lobby.

An investigation into their deaths was reported that initially after his release Khan was “making progress” thanks in part to twice-weekly mentor visits as part of the government’s disengagement and disengagement program.

But those visits suddenly ceased in August due to a contract dispute, according to the survey. He also learned that it happened at a “critical” stage when Khan was leaving a licensed probation home and struggling to find work. And weeks later, police became alarmed at Khan’s isolation, according to the investigation.

Khan’s counterterrorism probation officer Phil Bromley confirmed to the inquest that Khan is making good progress with the help of the mentors in May 2019.

Jonathan Hough, QC, the investigating lawyer, read Bromley’s assessment of Khan at the time. He said: “On May 15, 2019, you note that: ‘Usman Khan continues to make good progress. Work with a practical mentor twice a week, although this can be reduced to once a week. Also engages with a religious mentor once a month ”.”

Hough told the inquest at Guildhall, London, how those mentoring arrangements suddenly came to an end.

He said he [Khan] had these mentors coming to see him once or twice a week and then it stopped, because I’m thinking of a contract issue between the companies that provide the mentors and the Home Office.

Bromley confirmed that the lack of mentors hampered Khan’s efforts to find work because, under his license agreement, he was not allowed to access the internet without the supervision of a mentor.

He said he and Khan’s senior probation officer Ken Skelton had tried but failed to find replacement mentors. He said: “I don’t think we have found a solution because of the time and what has happened. We were potentially looking for either Mr. Skelton, or potentially I think it was Ixion which is an agency we were working with Mr. Khan… but we never got there.

Jones family attorney Henry Pitchers QC read an email from Bromley in September 2019 expressing concern over the lack of mentors following the contract dispute. Bromley’s email said: “We are at a transition point for Usman as he will be leaving the approved premises soon, which is still a critical step. The timing is therefore not ideal. So I would definitely be in favor of posting another mentor if possible. “

Pitchers said, “We know that no mentoring took place in September, October, November and that this lack of mentoring would mean a lack of a potential protective factor.”

Bromley replied, “Yes.”

Weeks later, police expressed concern over Khan’s isolation and raised the issue at a multi-agency Public Protection (Mappa) meeting about Khan. Hough said: “The Staffordshire Special Branch was concerned about his social isolation. And this was brought up both in the Mappa meeting in November 2019 and in some email communications.

Previewing the evidence to come, Hough said: ‘We are probably hearing that seasoned professionals in this field had concerns or expressed concerns about Mr Khan’s social isolation, so not just a case as usual. , but specific concerns. “

The investigation is continuing.