A convicted murderer who fought the Fishmongers’ Hall terrorist with a narwhal tusk is to be freed from prison.
Steven Gallant, 44, was among the inmates attending an event held by Cambridge University’s Learning Together rehabilitation scheme on 29 November 2019.
Inquests into his victims’ deaths heard how Gallant, who was on day release at the time, ran towards sounds of a commotion.
He started hitting Khan with pieces of wood and chairs, before trying to stab the terrorist in the chest with an ornamental narwhal tusk.
The makeshift weapon snapped but the battle continued, and Gallant and others chased Khan out of Fishmongers’ Hall and onto London Bridge.
The inquests heard that Gallant tackled Khan to the ground and subdued him with a punch to the face before armed police arrived and shot him dead.
Speaking of the struggle, Gallant told the inquests he had seen Khan’s realistic-looking suicide vest but “chose to ignore it” so he could keep fighting.
After Khan was shot, he returned to Fishmongers’ Hall and tried to help injured victims.
The coroner, Mark Lucraft QC, praised his “remarkable courage”, telling him: “Your name is Gallant, and your actions on that day do not belie your name.”
Gallant had been jailed for life with a minimum term of 17 years in 2005, for the murder of a firefighter in Hull.
The Parole Board said it had directed its release following a hearing last month that considered a range of evidence, including any risk to the public and the impact on victims.
The decision on release is provisional for 21 days subject to any appeal by the justice secretary, who previously reduced his term by 10 months because of his actions during the Fishmongers’ Hall attack.
A report by the Parole Board said its panel had recognised Gallant’s conduct but it was “not a reason to direct his release”.
“After considering the circumstances of his index offending, his pattern of previous offending, the progress made while in custody, the details of the release plan and all the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Gallant was suitable for release,” it added.
The report described how Gallant had undertaken education programmes and rehabilitation courses to address his offending behaviour, and been moved to an open prison and allowed temporary release.
He will be subject to licence conditions and probation supervision.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies