Welcome to day one!
As advent begins we face a Christmas like no other in living memory, when we may not even be able to celebrate it with our families. We have all been limited by the coronavirus pandemic. It has taken so much from us, from simple pleasures such as socialising normally with friends, holidays to jobs, basic freedoms, and even loved ones. However it is in this shared hardship that we can find strength, and feel less alone, as an earlier generation did in WW2. We really are all in this together.
We cannot change the fact that there is a pandemic, only our response to the challenge. By hearing these stories of how people have risen to their own personal challenge, we hope that it will inspire your personally to go BEYOND ADVERSITY and onto hope.
In the following story, we see how a murderer turned his life around and received forgiveness from the young son of his victim. As we approach Christmas, is there anyone we need to forgive, including ourselves?
London Bridge attack: Steven Gallant up for early release after confronting knifeman
A convicted murderer (pictured on the left) who helped thwart an attack on London Bridge will be considered for parole 10 months early.
Steven Gallant, 42, was jailed for 17 years in 2005 for the murder of ex-firefighter Barrie Jackson in Hull. Gallant had wrongly assumed that Mr. Jackson had attacked his girlfriend. Gallant was on day release attending a prisoner rehabilitation event when he confronted Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk after the 28-year-old began stabbing people in November 2019. Khan, who killed Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt (pictured on the right), was later shot dead by police.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "The lord chancellor has granted Steven Gallant a Royal Prerogative of Mercy reducing his minimum tariff by 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."
Gallant's Parole Board will decide whether he can be released early.
Mr Merritt's father David said "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 was one of two men convicted of the murder of Jackson, 33. 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."
Gallant was one of three people who were filmed restraining Khan on the bridge during the attack. He said earlier this year that he "did not hesitate" to intervene.
This post was adapted from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54588407 (accessed October 18th 2020)