Berkshire

Reading stabbings: Inquest opens over Forbury Gardens attack

David Wails, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong Image copyright Family handouts
Image caption David Wails, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong were pronounced dead at the scene

Three men killed in a suspected terror attack in a park each died after being stabbed in the neck, an inquest heard.

James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, were killed in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on 20 June.

Khairi Saadallah, 25, who is charged with their murder, is set to face trial on 30 November.

Inquests into their deaths were opened and adjourned at Reading Coroner's Court pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

During the hearing, senior coroner Heidi Connor said the three friends were "all victims of the Forbury Gardens incident, just around the corner from this building".

"They sustained stab wounds on that terrible day and died shortly afterwards despite the best efforts of the emergency services," she said.

Image caption Khairi Saadallah is charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder

Ms Connor said all those who tried to help the victims, including members of the public, should be commended, adding: "There were far more people to help that day than cause harm."

The court heard post-mortem examinations found the cause of death in each victim's case was a stab wound to the neck.

She added: "The impact of these three tragic deaths has been felt not just in Reading or the UK but across the world."

Image copyright Reading Borough Council
Image caption Floral tributes have been moved from around the town to the bandstand in Forbury Gardens

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