Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Killer who fought London Bridge terrorist could be free ‘within weeks’

A killer who tackled London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan to the ground could find out on Monday when he will be let free.

Steven Gallant was pardoned by the Queen after he used a narwhal tusk to fend off Khan, who killed two graduates at in November 2019.

He had been serving a 17-year sentence for the murder of a fireman when, at a rehabilitation conference for prisoners, he risked his life to fight the sick jihadi.

Lawyers of 43-year-old Gallant are hoping he will be freed within weeks.

A source told The Mirror: "A decision will be made on Monday. He could be out in three weeks if things go okay. 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."

The killer had 10 months knocked off his 17-year sentence after being granted a Royal Prerogative of Mercy on government advice.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed it was due to Gallant's "exceptionally brave actions".

At the time of the London Bridge attack Gallant was at a Learning Together conference to rehabilitate prisoners.

Usman Khan launched a knife attack and murdered conference coordinators Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25 – who was Gallant's former prison mentor.

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Khan was jailed for a bombing plot in 2012. He was attending the event as a rehabilitating offender.

The 28-year-old was chased on to London Bridge after stabbing the two graduates. Gallant and two other men caught up with him and tackled him to the ground before he was shot dead by police.

"I had to help," Gallant said at the time.

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"Khan was in the foyer with two large knives in his hands. He was a clear danger to all.”

Stephen Gallant was jailed in 2005 after he was in a gang which battered fireman Barrie Jackson, 30, to death in Hull.

Barrie's student son spoke on Gallant's early release last year: “I have mixed emotions – but what happened at London Bridge goes to show that people can change.”

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Jack Merritt’s father David, 55, of Cottenham, Cambs, said: “Steve deserves this. He turned his life around and reformed.”

Uncles of murdered graduate Saskia have demanded the organisers of the Cambridge University Learning Together programme step down.

They believe Khan manipulated the organisation to allow him to attend and said that chiefs Dr Ruth Armstrong and Dr Amy Ludlow “shouldn’t be leading an organisation that got something badly and tragically wrong”.

The programme has been suspended by the University while it reviews how it can run again.

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