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Reading park terror suspect appears at the Old Bailey

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Friends James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, all died in the two-minute attack in Forbury Gardens on Saturday June 20.

Candles and flowers in Reading inmemory of David Wails, Joseph Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong

A man accused of carrying out a suspected terror attack in a park in which three friends were killed has appeared at the Old Bailey.

Khairi Saadallah, 25, was flanked by two guards when he appeared for a short mention hearing via video-link from Belmarsh Prison in south-east London.

Saadallah is alleged to have launched the two-minute stabbing spree in Forbury Gardens, Reading, shortly before 7pm on Saturday June 20.

Friends James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, all died, while three others – their friend Stephen Young, and Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, who were sitting in a nearby group – were injured.

Forbury Gardens incident
(L to R) Joe Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails (Thames Valley Police/Family handouts/PA)

History teacher Mr Furlong and Mr Ritchie-Bennett, a US citizen, were each stabbed once in the neck, while scientist Mr Wails was stabbed once in the back as they enjoyed the Saturday evening sunshine. They were all declared dead at the scene.

Mr Young needed 28 stitches after he was knifed once in the head, while Mr Edwards was stabbed in the back and Mr Nisudan suffered wounds to his face and hand. They have all since been released from hospital.

Saadallah, wearing a grey jumper and beige trousers for his court appearance, confirmed his name, date of birth and his nationality as Libyan.

He was further remanded in custody during the 10-minute hearing on Wednesday ahead of a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey in the court’s terror list on July 10.

No date for a possible trial has been set.

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