The Wokingham Paper

Man accused of Forbury Gardens incident appears in court

Forbury Gardens

This report contains details that some readers may find distressing.

A MAN accused of fatally stabbing three men in Forbury Gardens appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court today.

Khairi Saadallah, 25 and from Basingstoke Road, Reading, is accused of murdering three people – James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and 39-year-old Joseph Ritchie-Bennett – in the town centre park around 7pm on Saturday, June 20.

The court heard that the alleged attack lasted less than two minutes and that three men were declared dead at the scene: Mr Furlong and Mr Ritchie-Bennett were both stabbed once in the neck, while scientist Mr Wails was stabbed once in his back.

Three other people were injured in the assault: Stephen Young was with them, while Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan were in a nearby group. Mr Young received 28 stitches for a head wound, Mr Edwards was stabbed in the back and Mr Nisudan suffered wounds to his face and hand.

Magistrates also heard that Saadallah, who appeared by video link wearing a prison tracksuit, came to Reading in 2012 as a Libyan refugee. In the dock, he confirmed his name, date of birth and his address.

Prosecutor Jan Newbold said that Saadallah had bought the alleged murder weapon, a kitchen knife, from a supermarket the day before the incident and that he had stabbed his alleged victims without any warning.

He was also alleged to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) during the incident.

The hearing lasted under 10 minutes, and the chief magistrate of the court, Emma Arbuthnot, remanded him in custody until Wednesday, July 1.

Saadallah will appear via video link at the Old Bailey.

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