Reading terror attacker loses bid to challenge whole-life sentence

Mr Justice Sweeney sentenced Khairi Saadallah to a whole-life order in January, saying it was a ‘rare and exceptional’ case.

Khairi Saadallah
Khairi Saadallah

The Reading terror attacker has lost a bid to bring a Court of Appeal challenge against his whole-life sentence for the murders of three men.

Khairi Saadallah, 27, was sentenced to die in prison after he fatally stabbed friends James Furlong, 36, Dr David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, on June 20 last year.

Three other people were injured in the approximately minute-long rampage in Forbury Gardens, Reading, before Saadallah threw away the eight-inch knife he used and attempted to flee.

Saadallah, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, pleaded guilty to three murders and three attempted murders.

Mr Justice Sweeney sentenced him at the Old Bailey to a whole-life order in January, saying it was a “rare and exceptional” case.

He was also handed concurrent 24-year jail terms for the attempted murders of Stephen Young, Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan.

On Thursday Saadallah appeared at the Court of Appeal in London via video-link from Belmarsh Prison, wearing a dark jumper, to challenge the length of his sentence.

However, after a hearing, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb and Mr Justice Henshaw, said his challenge had been unsuccessful.

Lord Burnett said: “We have concluded that there is no substance in any of the criticisms made of the judge’s conclusions. In these circumstances we refuse leave to appeal.”

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