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Inmate who tackled Fishmongers’ Hall attacker to be released from prison

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An unarmed prison inmate who tackled Fishmongers’ Hall attacker Usman Khan to the ground during his terror attack in November 2019 has been directed for release by the Parole Board.

Khan, who was convicted of terrorist offences, fatally stabbed Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, and injured three other people before running onto London Bridge.

Carrying two large knives and a fake suicide belt, he was detained on the bridge by three men including Steven Gallant – a convicted murderer who was on day release on the day.

Steve Gallant confronted Usman Khan on London Bridge
Image: Steve Gallant confronted Usman Khan on London Bridge

Khan was then shot dead by police.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Steven Gallant following an oral hearing.

“A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.”

The decision on release is provisional for 21 days subject to any appeal by the Justice Secretary.

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In 2005, Mr Gallant was jailed for life with a minimum term of 17 years for the murder of a firefighter in Hull.

His actions on the day of the London Bridge terror attack later saw his sentence cut following an intervention by the Queen.

Mr Gallant took on Khan as the latter went on a killing spree armed with two knives and a fake suicide vest on 29 November.

Pic: Met Police
Image: Khan was shot dead by police at the scene. Pic: Met Police
Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday January 7 Handout photo issued by Steve Gallant of himself (left) with Jack Merritt (right, who died in the London Bridge attack) pictured at the end of a Learning Together training course in April 2018. The convicted murderer has revealed how he "did not hesitate" to help fight off a terrorist on London Bridge. PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 7, 2020. Serving prisoner Steve Gallant told how he took on Usman Khan as he embarked on a killing spree armed with two kn
Image: Steve Gallant (L) with Jack Merritt, who died in the London Bridge attack

He had been a serving prisoner who was let out on licence for the day to attend the Learning Together rehabilitation project nearby.

He previously said he had heard noises and went to investigate, defying “orders to stay in the conference hall”.

“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 added.

Usman Khan recorded a 'thank-you' message for a Learning Together event in Cambridge in March 2019
Image: Usman Khan recorded a ‘thank-you’ message for a Learning Together event in Cambridge in March 2019

Mr Gallant used a chair and narwhal tusk handed to him by civil servant Darryn Frost, who also risked his life to take on Khan.

“Khan also showed us the bomb around his waist in an attempt to frighten us,” he said.

“We then chased him onto London Bridge and restrained him until the police arrived.”

Khan was shot dead by police, but not before he had killed Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, co-ordinators at the rehabilitation course.

Of its decision, the Parole Board said: “After considering the circumstances of his index offending, his pattern of previous offending, the progress made while in custody, the details of the release plan and all the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Gallant was suitable for release.”

The conditions of Mr Gallant’s release on licence would include a curfew, staying at a designated address and to comply with an exclusion zone to avoid contact with his victim’s family.