UK

Reading stabbings suspect appears in court

Court sketch of Khairi Saadallah (centre), appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday by video link Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Khairi Saadallah (centre), appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday by video link

A 25-year-old man charged with the murders of three men in a park in Reading nine days ago has appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Khairi Saadallah is also charged with the attempted murders of three other men in Forbury Gardens, in what police described as a terrorist incident.

During the 10-minute hearing, he spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and that he lived in Reading.

Mr Saadallah appeared by video link from Coventry Magistrates' Court.

He is charged with murdering James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, with a large kitchen knife shortly before 19:00 on Saturday 20 June.

The three friends each died of a single stab wound, post-mortem examinations showed.

History teacher Mr Furlong and US citizen Mr Ritchie-Bennett were each stabbed once in the neck while scientist Mr Wails was stabbed once in his back. They were each declared dead at the scene.

Mr Saadallah is also charged with attempting to murder their friend Stephen Young as well as Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, who were sat in another group nearby, during an attack lasting less than two minutes.

Image copyright Family handouts
Image caption Post-mortem tests revealed David Wails, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong each died of a single stab wound

Mr Saadallah was born in Libya and claimed asylum in the UK in 2012 before being given permission to stay in 2018.

He wore a grey police-issue tracksuit and a blue face mask during the hearing.

Mr Saadallah, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, did not enter pleas to three charges of murder and three of attempted murder.

The Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded him in custody until he next appears in court at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.