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, something we will hear about in one of the features later this month. We really are all in this together.
We cannot change the fact that there is a pandemic, only our response to the challenge. Each day a slightly different story will be posted on the website told by people from a range of backgrounds. By hearing these stories throughout advent of how people have risen to their own personal challenge, we hope that it will inspire you personally to go BEYOND ADVERSITY and onto hope.
Our first story is one of tremendous forgiveness. Is there anyone you need to forgive this advent, including yourself.....?
A convicted murderer 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. He 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. 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.
Gallant's Parole Board will decide whether he can be released early. 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."
Khan, who killed Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt, was later shot dead by police. 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. During the trial, Hull Crown Court heard the attack was carried out because Gallant wrongly believed Mr Jackson had attacked his girlfriend.
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."
London Bridge attack: Steven Gallant up for early release after confronting knifeman
The next page will automatically appear on the website tomorrow