Memorial services to remember victims on anniversary of Reading attack

20 June 2021, 15:07

LBC's Jonny Freeman on the anniversary of the Reading terror attack

By Kate Buck

The family and friends of the three men killed in a terror attack in Reading will take part in a memorial service to commemorate one year since their deaths on Sunday.

History teacher James Furlong, 36, scientist Dr David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, who worked for a pharmaceutical company, were murdered in Forbury Gardens on June 20 last year.

The three friends had been enjoying a summer evening together as lockdown restrictions eased when they were attacked by 26-year-old failed Libyan asylum seeker Khairi Saadallah.

Three other people - Stephen Young, 51, Patrick Edwards, 29, and Nishit Nisudan, 34 - were also injured before Saadallah threw away the eight-inch knife and ran off, pursued by an off-duty police officer.

Saadallah was handed a whole-life sentence in January after he pleaded guilty to three murders and three attempted murders.

History teacher James Furlong, 36, scientist Dr David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, all died in the Reading terror attack last year
History teacher James Furlong, 36, scientist Dr David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, all died in the Reading terror attack last year. Picture: PA
The three friends had been enjoying a summer evening together as lockdown restrictions eased
The three friends had been enjoying a summer evening together as lockdown restrictions eased. Picture: PA

A year on, the victims' loved ones, members of the emergency services who responded on the day and representatives from different elements of Reading's community are invited to a memorial service.

The service will be led by Cllr David Stevens, Mayor of Reading, and will include tributes to the victims and readings, followed by the laying of floral tributes at the Forbury Bandstand.

The public can follow the service via livestream on Reading Council's Facebook page.

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