The convicted murderer who helped to stop the terror attack on London Bridge last November is set to have his sentence cut after an intervention by the Queen.
Steven Gallant, 42, was on day release at the event for reformed prisoners in Fishmonger’s Hall when Usman Khan began stabbing people.
Armed only with a narwhal tusk , Mr Gallant helped to restrain Mr Khan, who had two knives and was wearing a fake suicide vest. The terrorist was then shot dead by police.
Jack Merrit, 25, and 23-year-old Saskia Jones – both part of the Learning Together scheme to help prisoners access education – were killed in Mr Khan's attack, and several others were wounded.
It was Gallant’s first time out on licence after being jailed for life with a minimum term of 17 years in 2005 for murdering a firefighter in Hull.
The Ministry of Justice revealed on Saturday that the Queen had employed the rarely used “Royal Prerogative of Mercy” to bring Gallant’s case before the parole board 10 months early.
The Queen used the power on the advice of Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said: “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 final decision rests with the parole board, but it is unlikely Gallant will be denied his freedom.
It is understood he has been a model prisoner and has expressed remorse for his crimes. He has not faced any punishment or loss of privileges for the past 10 years.
Jack Merritt’s father David, 55, welcomed the "fantastic" news.
He told the Daily Mirror: “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.”
Mr Gallant has also addressed his previous substance abuse, and is studying for a business degree.
He was one of two men convicted of the murder of Barrie Jackson, 33.
The pair lay in wait for Mr Jackson outside the Dolphin pub after believing he attacked Mr Gallant’s girlfriend.
Mr Jackson was sprayed with CS gas and beaten so savagely with a hammer by a group of men that paramedics could not find his mouth.
Mr Jackson’s student son Jack, 21, told the Mirror: “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.”