QUEEN ELIZABETH II INTERVENES TO REDUCE THE SENTENCE OF LONDON BRIDGE HERO
Queen Elizabeth II, has intervened to reduce the sentence of Steven Gallant, the man who restrained the London Bridge attacker.
The 42-year-old Gallant, is a convicted murderer and is serving a life sentence. On the day of the vicious attacks of Usman Khan, he was allowed out on day release to attend an event for reformed prisoners in Fishmongers' Hall just by the bridge.
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.
Khan was at the point wearing a fake suicide vest, and sadly managed to kill Saskia Jones, 23, and 25-year-old Jack Merritt. Both of Khan’s victims took part in the Learning Together scheme to help prisoners gain access to education where Gallant attended. Showing his bravery, Gallant armed himself with a Narwhal tusk and helped stop Khan.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed that the Queen has initiated her Royal Prerogative of Mercy. The plea will see Gallant's case brought before the parole board 10 months earlier than planned.
The Queen used her power on the advice of Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, and although the parole board has the final decision on such cases, it is unlikely they will go against the order.
When Gallant was asked about his heroic act, he stated that "I just had to act. 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."
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice praised Gallant for his bravery and risking his life to protect others, and stated that "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."
The son of Jackson who was a victim of Gallant, also supported the move to reduce the sentence of his father's killer. Jackson’s son added that "I have mixed emotions - but what happened at London Bridge goes to show the reality that people can change."
Gallant met Jack Merritt back in 2016 through the Learning Together scheme where Merritt was appointed to mentor Gallant as part of the project.
Merritt's father David, 55, also supported Gallant and said that he deserves a second chance.
"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 described the young man as a "role model and friend", and added that "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."