It's extremely rare for a murderer to win a pardon in Britain. It's even rarer for a narwhal tusk to be involved. Steven Gallant, a 42-year-old inmate who used the tusk to confront a knife-wielding man who had stabbed two people to death in London last year, has been approved for a royal pardon by Queen Elizabeth II, the New York Times reports. Gallant, who grabbed the weapon from the wall of historic Fishmonger's Hall, is being recognized for " his exceptionally brave actions," which "helped save people’s lives despite the tremendous risk to his own," Britain's Ministry of Justice said in a statement. The pardon will take 10 months off Gallant's 17-year sentence, making him eligible to apply for parole in June next year.
Gallant was attending a rehabilitation event as part of a day release program when he joined a group of people trying to subdue Usman Khan, who had served six years in prison for a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange, the Guardian reports. Police later shot Khan dead on London Bridge. Gallant was one of two people jailed in 2005 for the murder of firefighter Barrie Jackson outside a pub in the city of Hull. The BBC reports that the court was told Gallant attacked Jackson because he wrongly believed the man had attacked his girlfriend. Jackson's relatives said they supported the decision to pardon Gallant. "I have mixed emotions—but what happened at London Bridge goes to show the reality that people can change," said the victim's 21-year-old son. (Read more United Kingdom stories.)