London Bridge narwhal tusk hero who fought off terrorist is pardoned by the Queen – My London



The jailed killer who fought off the London Bridge terrorist with a narwhal tusk has been pardoned by the Queen.

In a very rare move, the Royal Prerogative of Mercy has been granted by Her Majesty on the advice of the Government after Steve Gallant’s actions prompted worldwide praise.

The Sunday Mirror reports the step – which has not been taken for nearly 25 years – means jailed murderer Gallant will have 10 months cut from the 17-year sentence given to him in 2005.

In addition, he could now go before a Parole Board next June to rubberstamp his freedom.

Gallant was among a gang who battered Barrie Jackson to death outside The Dolphin pub in Hull in April 2005.

He was on day release from prison last November for that offence when terrorist Usman Khan went on the rampage during an event for rehabilitating offenders in the Fishmongers Hall next to London Bridge.

He murdered two people and stabbed three others.

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Now Gallant has spoken through his solicitor, Neil Hudgell, who said: “Steve feels a debt of gratitude to all those who helped him to achieve a Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

“He is passionate about using his knowledge and experiences to help others steer away from crime.”

Khan’s victims were Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, who had helped coordinate the event. 

Tonight, the son of Gallant’s 2005 victim, firefighter Barrie Jackson, said he backed the pardon.

Son Jack, who was only four when he lost his dad, said:  “I have mixed emotions – but what happened at London Bridge goes to show the reality that people can change.”

Asked if he would consider meeting Gallant, Jack said: “Maybe. I wouldn’t rule it out.”

A scene from the London Bridge terror attack showing Gallant using a narwhal tusk (Image: Twitter)

He went on to say: “In my mind, Gallant has nearly done his time and if someone has undergone rehabilitation and change, which it seems he has, then it’s fair enough.

“Every time his name is mentioned it brings back memories for me, my brother and mum but it happened years ago.”

Gallant was on his first day release at the conference by London Bridge on the day the terror attack took place.

Convicted terrorist Khan, 28, had also been invited to the event as a rehabilitating offender out on licence.

In 2012, he had been jailed for planning to bomb the London Stock Exchange.

But Khan was not there to listen to speeches about rehabilitation.

Instead, after sitting quietly for some time, he pulled out two knives and went berserk, killing Jack and Saskia.

As word spread in the building that a man was running amok, Gallant was handed an ornamental five-foot narwhal tusk from a wall to use as a weapon.

He then chased him on to the bridge.

Footage seen across the world then showed him fighting off the terrorist to stop him committing more murders before police shot Khan dead.

Jack Merritt’s father David, 55, of Cottenham in Cambridgeshire, has praised the Queen’s decision.

He said: “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.”

Jack had mentored Gallant behind bars.

Gallant – who after his heroic acts said he “didn’t hesitate” to confront Khan – described him as a “role model and friend”.

He has been open about accepting that he deserved to be punished for what happened that night in Hull.

“It is right I was handed a severe penalty for my actions,” he said.

“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.”

The attack he carried out back then was so savage that paramedics who tried to revive his victim could not find his mouth.

A court heard Gallant planned the assault believing Mr Barrie had attacked his girlfriend eight days before.

Now, 15 years on, he has been given a rare second chance.