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Killer of Nigerian businessman now hero of London Bridge terror attack

Former prisoner John Anthony Crilly, who robbed Nigerian businessman Augustine Maduemezia in his Manchester home in 2005 has turned out to be one of the heroes, who subdued the London Bridge terrorist, Usman Khan.

Crilly, armed with a fire extinguisher, followed Khan to the bridge after fighting him at Fishmonger’s Hall where he had fatally stabbed Cambridge graduates, Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones. Crilly, in an act captured on CCTV, then sprayed Khan with the extinguisher, in the hope of short-circuiting the suicide vest Khan claimed he was wearing.

The ex-prisoner aimed the extinguisher on Khan’s eyes and sooner covered him in foam, allowing others including a hero with a narwhal tusk to subdue the terrorist.


Khan’s explosive vest proved to be fake, but Crilly did not know that and told the Mirror he had hoped to short-circuit the device.

‘At first, I thought throw that at him, then I thought I could spray it and soak the belt, maybe short-circuit the belt,’ Crilly said.

‘I started spraying him and it seemed to do the job. I was spraying it in his eyes. He was all covered in foam and then he came bursting through it again with the knives.’

After following him to the bridge, Crilly kept spraying him with the fire extinguisher. Describing the effect of his efforts, he added: ‘He [Khan] can’t see and that gives the whale guy a chance to give him a poke.’

Crilly, a former heroin addict, was originally found guilty of murdering and robbing the 71-year-old Maduemezia in his home on February 8, 2005 and jailed for life, with a minimum term of 20 years.

He was sentenced in December 2005.

Crilly stole a blender and a mobile phone in the bungled burglary in which his accomplice was found to have been the killer of the Nigerian.

He spent 13 years in prison until his murder conviction was quashed following a Supreme Court ruling on joint enterprise law.

In April 2018 Crilly pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was re-sentenced to 18 years in prison.

He was told he would serve half of the sentence in prison, but having done time since 2005 he had already completed the nine years required and was released on license.

The Supreme Court ruled that the law on joint enterprise, where defendants are prosecuted for murder even if they did not strike the fatal blow, had been misinterpreted.

One of Crilly’s friends, Michelle Feather, wrote on Facebook: ‘I honestly think your friend would be proud of you John Crilly for your actions, so many people could have died if it wasn’t for your quick thinking!! Be proud of yourself.

‘You’re a brave man John massive hugs to you!! Would have you by my side any day you deserve a medal.’

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