Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Murderer who tackled London Bridge terrorist with narwhal tusk could be freed within weeks

Steven Gallant, 43, confronted Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk before he was shot dead by police

Leonie Chao-Fong
Sunday 04 July 2021 16:56 BST
(PA )

A convicted murderer who tackled the London Bridge terrorist could be freed from prison within weeks after being pardoned by the Queen.

Steven Gallant, 43, was praised for confronting Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk ripped from the wall of the Fishmongers’ Hall, where the attack took place on 29 November 2019.

He had been jailed for 17 years in 2005 for the murder of ex-firefighter Barrie Jackson, 30, outside a pub in Hull.

In a rare decision by the Queen, the royal prerogative of mercy was granted to Gallant last year for his actions. Last month, he appeared before a Parole Board and his lawyers hope he will be freed within three weeks, according to the Sunday Mirror.

A source told the paper: “A decision will be made on Monday. He could be out in three weeks if things go OK.

“But Steve is desperate to keep a low profile whilst settling outside. He’s turned his life around and wants to keep on probation’s good side.”

On the day of the London Bridge attack, Gallant was on day release and attending a prisoner rehabilitation event at the Fishmongers Hall with his mentor and conference coordinator Jack Merritt, who was killed Khan alongside Saskia Jones, 23.

The event, organised by the University of Cambridge’s Learning Together programme, was also attended by Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, both Cambridge graduate involved in prisoner rehabilitation who were killed by Khan.

Garrett was at the Fishmongers’ hall alongside mentor and conference coordinator, Mr Merritt.

Using a chair and narwhal tusk handed to him by civil servant Darryn Frost, who also risked his life to take on the attacker, Gallant restrained Khan on London Bridge.

Khan had also been attending the event as a rehabilitating offender out on licence after he was jailed in 2012 for planning to plant a bomb in the London stock exchange.

As well as murdering Merritt and Jones, Khan injured two women and a man before he was was shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge.

Gallant later said he “did not hesitate” to intervene, adding: “I could tell something was wrong and had to help. I saw injured people. Khan was stood in the foyer with two large knives in his hands. He was a clear danger to all.”

Though attracting some controversy, the sentence reduction has been backed by the murdered firefighter’s family.

Jackson’s son Jack, 21, said: “I have mixed emotions – but what happened at London Bridge goes to show the reality that people can change.”

Gallant was one of two men convicted for the murder of ex-firefighter Jackson, 33.

During the trial at Hull Crown Court, it was heard that the attack was premeditated and Gallant wrongly believed Jackson had attacked his girlfriend eight days prior.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in