Murderer who saved people from London Bridge terrorist to be released for bravery

Steven Gallant saved lives by wrestling Usman Khan to the ground

A convicted murderer who saved lives by wrestling London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan to the ground is set to be released from prison early for his bravery.

At the time of the attack in November 2019, Steven Gallant, now 42, was attending a probation event on day release from prison where he was serving a life sentence for a 2005 murder in a fight outside a pub.

Wearing a fake explosive belt, Khan, who had been released early from prison for plotting to blow up the London Stock Exchange, went on a knife rampage, stabbing two people to death and injuring many others.

This undated photo provided by West Midlands Police shows Usman Khan. UK counterterrorism police are searching for clues into an attack that left two people dead and three injured near London Bridge.  Police said Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, Khan, who was imprisoned six years for terrorism offenses before his release last year stabbed several people in London on Friday, Nov. 29,  before being tackled by members of the public and shot dead by officers on the London Bridge. (West Midlands Police via AP)

Gallant's mentor Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were murdered.

Gallant chased Khan and apprehended him until police arrived and shot him dead. He was helped by prison worker Darryn Frost who attacked Khan with a narwhal tusk pulled from a wall.

Under the royal prerogative of mercy, Gallant's sentence was reduced by 10 months by UK Justice Secretary Robert Buckland because of his bravery on London Bridge and he will be released imminently.

At a hearing on June 21, the Parole Board decided Gallant could be released on licence with conditions such as a curfew, regular substance abuse tests and avoiding contact with his victim's family.

"When I first met Steve [Gallant] he struck me as a hugely articulate and reflective person with a wealth of insight into the prison system," his solicitor Neil Hudgell said.

"He is a shining example of reformation not only for himself but others he has helped."

Last year, Mr Merritt's family started legal proceedings against the British government over the management and assessment of Khan's risk to the public before his release.

Mr Merritt was attacked in the toilets where Khan had been making his final preparations for the attack, while Ms Jones was stabbed in the neck by the cloakroom.

A UK watchdog last year called for extremists to be given lie detector tests, arguing that deradicalisation programmes do not work.

Updated: July 7th 2021, 2:09 PM
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