by Ellie Bufkin · December 1, 2019
The family of a woman brutally murdered is furious after learning that one of the men being hailed as a hero in the Friday terrorist knife attack on London Bridge was the murderer they thought was in jail.
Amanda Champion, a disabled 21-year-old woman, was killed by James Ford in 2003. Ford ran into Amanda in the woods in Kent and proceeded to strangle her and slit her throat, according to the BBC. Amanda’s body was discovered three weeks later, badly decomposed. Ford was discovered as the prime suspect after he made several calls to a charity confessing the crime and threatening to kill himself.
Ford, now 42, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime in 2004 with the judge recommending that he serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. Ford was free on prison day release on Friday when he witnessed Usman Khan violently attack pedestrians on London Bridge with a knife. Ford and several other people intervened in the attack to subdue Khan until police arrived and gunned him down. At the time of his arrest, police described Ford’s actions as “motiveless crime and a senseless crime” and described him personally as a “very dangerous man.”
Khan, 28, was also out of prison serving only six years of a nearly two-decade sentence after being convicted of “terror-related charges” in 2012. He and Ford attended the same prison sponsored educational event the day of the attack.
A police liaison contacted Amanda’s family to inform them that Ford had been spotted on television with the other bystanders being hailed as heroes. “He is not a hero. He is a murderer out on day release, which us as a family didn’t know anything about. He murdered a disabled girl,” Amanda’s aunt Angela Cox said to the Daily Mail. “He is not a hero, absolutely not. I don’t care what he’s done today, he’s a murderer.”
Washington Examiner · by Ellie Bufkin · December 1, 2019