Reading stabbings – Man, 25, to appear in court charged with murders of three men in park 'terror attack'

THE man accused of murdering three men in the Reading park "terror attack" will appear in court today.

Khairi Saadallah, 25, will also face three charges of attempted murder at Westminster Magistrates' Court.


Friends James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, were killed as they enjoyed drinks in Forbury Gardens shortly before 7pm on June 20.

On Friday, police confirmed that post-mortem examinations showed each man died from single stab wounds.

Three other victims were taken to hospital with stab injuries and have since been discharged.

Reading Borough Council held a vigil at 7pm on Saturday in memory of the friends, marking a week since the deadly attack, which was attended by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Mr Furlong's family released a new tribute last week thanking those who had rushed to help the three men in the aftermath of the attack.

They said: "We would like to start by thanking the police for their ongoing help, including their remarkable bravery. They have been a pillar of support.

"Equally, we would like to express our gratitude to the emergency services, members of the public and the wider Reading community, who did all they could to help and save the lives of those who had been injured that night."

The family of Mr Ritchie-Bennett also released a statement, telling of their "deep sorrow".

The statement said: "We LOVED (sic) Joe so much and we are in such deep sorrow. We need all the prayers for Joe and the Ritchie and Bennett families."

'DEEP SORROW'

The attack was declared as a terrorism incident by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, senior national co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, and Counter Terrorism Policing South East continues to lead the investigation.

Saadallah arrived in Britain eight years ago, initially living in Manchester, and was granted refugee status in 2018.

It has been alleged that he was involved in the government's Prevent deradicalisation programme.

Priti Patel visited the scene of the stabbing attack last week as the city gathered for a one minute's silence to remember the victims.

The Holt School co-head teacher Katie Pearce told the grieving crowd: "We all need to absorb this sad news, words cannot describe our shock and sadness.

"He [James Furlong] was a cherished colleague and he will be very sadly missed."

Martin Cooper said he had known Mr Richie-Bennett for four years and Mr Furlong for at least two, having met them at the Blagrave Arms in Reading – a pub where they were regulars.

Mr Cooper, who is chief executive of LGBT+ charity Reading Pride, added that Mr Richie-Bennett and Mr Furlong were "great supporters" and members of the community.

He said: "Their loss is a tragedy to so many people."





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