Queen Intervenes To Reduce Sentence Of Man Who Restrained London Bridge Killer
The Queen has intervened to reduce the sentence of the man who restrained the London Bridge attacker.
Steven Gallant is a convicted murderer and was serving a life sentence when he was allowed out on day release when Usman Khan began his vicious attack.
The 42-year-old had been at an event for reformed prisoners in Fishmongers’ Hall just by the bridge.
Gallant then armed himself with a Narwhal tusk and helped stop Khan, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, from injuring more people.
Sadly Khan managed to kill Saskia Jones, 23, and 25-year-old Jack Merritt, both of whom were taking part in the Learning Together scheme to help prisoners gain access to education, before Gallant could get to him.
Gallant had been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 17 years after he was convicted for murdering 33-year-old Hull firefighter Barrie Jackson.
However, in recognition of his bravery in apprehending Khan, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the Queen has initiated her Royal Prerogative of Mercy, which will see Gallant’s case brought before the parole board 10 months earlier than planned.
The monarch used the power on the advice of Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland.
And while the parole board has the final decision on such cases, it is unlikely they will go against the order.
Speaking about the case, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice praised Gallant for risking his life to protect others.
They said: “The Lord Chancellor has granted Steven Gallant a Royal Prerogative of Mercy reducing his minimum tariff of 10 months in recognition of his exceptionally brave actions at Fishmongers’ Hall, which helped save people’s lives despite the tremendous risk to his own.”
Jackson’s son has also supported the move to reduce the sentence of his father’s killer, telling the Mirror: “I have mixed emotions – but what happened at London Bridge goes to show the reality that people can change.”
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Jack Merritt’s father David, 55, echoed these sentiments and said Gallant deserves a second chance.
He told the publication: “Steve fully deserves this pardon, or reduction in sentence. It is fantastic.
“He was very close to Jack and he turned his life around and reformed. I am really pleased for him.”
Gallant and Merritt met in 2016 through the Learning Together scheme, with Merritt mentoring him as part of the project.
Gallant described the young man as a ‘role model and friend’.
He said: “It is right I was handed a severe penalty for my actions. Once I’d accepted my punishment, I decided to seek help. When you go to prison, you lose control of your life. Bettering yourself becomes one of the few things you can do while reducing the existing burden on society.”
When asked about his heroics on 29 November 2019, Gallant said in a statement that he just had to act.
It read: “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.”