‘They forgot about his victims’: Widow of man murdered by a hero of the London Bridge terror attack slams decision to release him early from prison saying he has caused ‘lifelong damage to my family’
- Convicted killer Steven Gallant, 42, was granted Royal Pardon after he tackled Usman Khan with narwhal tusk during the London Bridge terror attack last year
- Gallant, who was on day release, was jailed after killing Barrie Jackson in 2005
- Vicky Foster, mother of Mr Jackson’s children, has criticised decision to pardon
The widow of the man murdered by the killer who stopped the London Bridge terror attack said has criticised the decision to release him early.
Convicted killer Steven Gallant, 42, was granted a Royal Pardon after he tackled Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk during the London Bridge terror attack last year while on day release.
Khan was ultimately shot dead by police after stabbing two people to death and Gallant is expected to be considered for parole ten months early.
Gallant was jailed for 17 years after murdering Barrie Jackson, a 30-year-old former firefighter in 2005.
Vicky Foster, the mother of Mr Jackson’s two children, has spoken for the first time since Gallant was hailed a hero and granted a Royal Pardon.
Convicted murderer Steven Gallant (pictured left with Jack Merritt who died in London Bridge attack) was on day release when he stopped Usman Khan’s rampage with a narwhal tusk
Vicky Foster, pictured, has spoken out about the decision to pardon the man who killed the father of her two children. Steven Gallant was jailed in 2005 after killing Barrie Jackson
She said: ‘I learned a long time ago that heroes aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.
‘Turning your life around is an amazingly brave, heroic thing to do, and if Steven Gallant has done that, then he deserves respect for it.
‘But five minutes on London Bridge would not be proof.’
She revealed she had not a clue that the man who confronted Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk was the same one who had killed her fire fighter partner Barrie Jackson and put her family through 15 years of hell.
She said: ‘I was drawn in by images of a man on London Bridge last November, tackling an armed terrorist with a narwhal tusk.
Usman Khan, 28, had been invited to the event while out on licence when he carried out the attack which killed two people
‘It appeared to be a clear-cut case of good triumphing over evil; a physical, decisive, spur-of-the-moment act that saved lives.
‘A light in the middle of a tragic event. A video to share on social media, show to your friends and then forget about.
‘That’s exactly what I did, but then in January this year word came to me that the hero I’d admired was actually one of the men who murdered the father of my children.’
Ironically, the ‘strange’ news came as Vicky, from Hull, East Yorkshire, was shortlisted for an award for an audio drama she had written about that murder and the effect it had on her family.
Speaking to news website The Hull Story, she continued: ‘I tried to brush it off at first; get on with other things.
‘The past is the past and there’s nothing I can do about it. But it wasn’t that simple.
‘You see, when extreme violence enters your life, everything you think you know is shattered. Everything becomes harder.
‘Throughout the course of this year my children and myself have been hugely impacted by the coverage of Steven Gallant in the news.
‘Despite letters from my MP Dame Diana Johnson, explaining this to members of the government – including Boris Johnson – we have had no contact or consideration in their processes whatsoever.
‘Gallant no doubt helped save lives on London Bridge last year, but he has also caused lifelong damage to myself and my family.’
Gallant had been attending the Learning Together rehabilitation project event at Fishmongers’ Hall, London, when he stopped Khan’s rampage with a narwhal tusk (pictured above)
She had been devastated by social media trolling about whether Barrie deserved what Gallant did to him, having been accused and convicted of violent crimes himself.
Vicky said: ‘I find it difficult to understand how one violent man can be held up as an example of what rehabilitation can do, while it’s suggested that another deserved to meet with the brutal murder that man committed.
‘Logic alone means those two things cannot both be true. It just makes more distress and trauma that we’ve had to work through.
‘Myself and my boys definitely did not and do not deserve that, or the added trauma that this year of news has caused us.’
Last year, Vicky reached out to the National Homicide Service, set up in 2009, which did not exist when Barrie was murdered.
‘They’re now providing me with the trauma therapy I wish I could have had back in 2005,’ she added.
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