Early release for murderer who used narwhal tusk to foil London attack

Floral tributes and photographs of the first victim to be named, Jack Merritt, are pictured close to London Bridge in the City of London, on December 1, 2019, following the November 29 deadly terror incident. Picture: AFP / Ben STANSALL

Steven Gallant was on day release at an event for reformed prisoners at the Fishmonger’s Hall in London in November 2019 when terror convict Usman Khan went on a knife rampage, killing two people and wounding three.

A convicted murderer who used a narwhal tusk to help stop a terror attack by a knife-wielding Islamist will likely have his sentence reduced after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth intervened, according to media reports.

Steven Gallant was on day release at an event for reformed prisoners at the Fishmonger’s Hall in London in November 2019 when terror convict Usman Khan went on a knife rampage, killing two people and wounding three.

Gallant and other members of the public were hailed as heroes for preventing even greater loss of life by tackling Khan with a five-foot (1.5-metre) narwhal tusk and a fire extinguisher before police shot him dead.

The Ministry of Justice said Saturday the Queen had employed the little-used “Royal Prerogative of Mercy” to bring Gallant’s case before the parole board 10 months early, according to the Press Association news agency.

“The Lord Chancellor has granted Steven Gallant a Royal Prerogative of Mercy… in recognition of his exceptionally brave actions at Fishmongers’ Hall, which helped save people’s lives despite the tremendous risk to his own,” PA said.

The parole board will make the final decision and is likely to give Gallant his freedom, PA added.

The two killed in the London attack — Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25 — were working on a meeting on prisoner rehabilitation that Khan attended.

Gallant had also met Merritt through the programme.

Merritt’s father David, 55, told the Daily Mirror he “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 was jailed for a minimum of 17 years in 2005 for the murder of a fireman outside a pub.

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