Reading attack: Khairi Saadallah, 25, charged with three counts of murder

27 June 2020, 18:32 | Updated: 27 June 2020, 19:25

Khairi Saadallah has been charged with three counts of murder
Khairi Saadallah has been charged with three counts of murder. Picture: LBC
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A man has been charged with three counts of murder following last week's knife attack in Reading.

Khairi Saadallah, 25, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, was also charged with three counts of attempted murder, Thames Valley Police said.

The charges come following an investigation into the incident at Forbury Gardens in Reading on the evening of 20 June, where a number of people were stabbed.

James Furlong, 36, and his friends David Wails and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett died after the incident in the Berkshire town's Forbury Gardens shortly before 7pm.

All three died at the scene and a further three people were taken to hospital so their injuries could be treated.

They have all since been released from hospital.

From left to right: Joe Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong, and David Wails
From left to right: Joe Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong, and David Wails. Picture: Thames Valley Police

Detectives from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) charged Saadallah after being given the green light by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Counter Terrorism Policing South East continues to lead the investigation.

Saadallah is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday 29 June.

Meanwhile, the family of one of the three men killed have praised police for their "remarkable bravery" ahead of a vigil in memory of the victims, due to be held at 7pm on Saturday - one week since the deadly attack.

Mr Furlong's family 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 statement added: "To James' colleagues and pupils at the Holt School: he spoke often of how much he loved where he worked and his passion for developing the students. He cared so much and was very proud of each and every one of you.

"James was passionate about creating a more loving and caring society. His time with us was cut far too short but the impact he made will live on, long long into the future. His family, his friends and those who have met him - he made us all a better person.

"We are so proud of him. James was, and always will be, so very much loved by us all."

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."

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