Libyan refugee, 25, shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ as he stabbed three friends to death and left another three men with knife wounds in suspected terror attack in Reading park, court hears
- Khairi Saadallah accused of three counts of murder following attack in Reading
- The 25-year-old, from Reading, is also facing three counts of attempted murder
- Accused of killing James Furlong, 35, David Wails, 49 and Joe Ritchie-Bennet, 39
- It follows a multiple stabbing in Forbury Gardens, Reading, Berks, on June 20
A refugee accused of murdering three people in a suspected terror attack in Reading shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ moments before he carried out the knife attack, a court heard today.
Khairi Saadallah, 25, is accused of killing James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and 39-year-old Joe Ritchie-Bennett during the incident Forbury Gardens, Reading, Berkshire nine days ago.
He is also charged with the attempted murder of three other men who were also attacked on the same day, Patrick Edwards, Stephen Young and Nishit Nisudan.
Prosecutor Jan Newbold told the court Saadallah is alleged to have bought the murder weapon, a large kitchen knife, from a supermarket the day before the attack on June 20 – which was declared a terrorist incident by police.
Khairi Saadallah, 25, has been accused of carrying out the knife rampage in Reading that left three people dead
The incident took place in Forbury Gardens, in the centre of Reading, Berkshire, on June 20
A police forensic officer searches floral tributes laid at the scene of the incident in Forbury Gardens
Prosecutor Jan Newbold told the court Saadallah is alleged to have bought the murder weapon, a large kitchen knife, from a supermarket the day before the attack on June 20. Pictured: A court sketch of Saadallah appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link
She said he began to stab his alleged victims ‘without warning or provocation’ adding: ‘At the time of the incident, the defendant was heard to shout words to the effect of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great).’
The defendant allegedly stabbed Mr Ritchie-Bennett and Mr Furlong, delivering one blow to each of their necks.
He then stabbed Mr Wails once in the back, prosecutors said.
Saadallah then allegedly stabbed Stephen Young once in the head causing a deep laceration which required 28 stitches.
The defendant also chased two other men as they ran away.
He then quickly headed towards a second group sitting nearby, made up of five friends including Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan.
Mr Edwards was allegedly stabbed in the back and Mr Nisudan in the face and hand as he tried to protect himself.
Ms Newbold prosecuting said Saadallah cut himself after fleeing the scene to make it look like had been the victim of a robbery.
After the attack he was chased by an off-duty police officer and arrested in a nearby street by another officer.
Saadallah was said to have been seen throwing away his rucksack and appeared to damage what prosecutors believe was his mobile phone, which was then found by the police.
Today he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link from Coventry Magistrates’ Court charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
Saadallah appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link from Coventry Magistrates’ Court today charged with the murder of three men in the suspected terror attack
Wearing a grey prison issue tracksuit and a blue surgical mask, he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he lived in Reading.
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot today remanded Saadallah in custody ahead of his next court appearance.
He will next appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
Saadallah came to the UK from Libya in 2012 and originally claimed asylum before being given leave to remain in 2018.