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Reading attacker to be sentenced in the new year
21 December 2020, 12:46
The Reading attacker who murdered three men and attacked three more will be sentenced in the new year.
Khairi Saadallah, 26, was said to have shouted "Allah Akhbar" and "victory on infidels" during the violent spree which lasted less than two minutes.
He had launched the attacks in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday June 20 as numerous people, including children, were enjoying the summer evening.
History teacher James Furlong, 36, scientist David Wails, 49, and US citizen Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, were fatally stabbed.
Their friend Stephen Young, and Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, who were sitting in a nearby group, were injured.
Saadallah had a history of mental health issues, debt and homelessness, according to court documents.
He arrived in the UK as an asylum seeker in 2012, having fled the civil war in his home country of Libya in North Africa.
In November, Saadallah, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to three murders and three attempted murders.
The court heard he had submitted a basis of plea denying substantial planning of the attack, and insisted it was not motivated by an ideological cause.
But the prosecution submitted that it was a planned terror attack.
Saadallah's sentencing, in which he faced a possible whole life order, was postponed earlier in December.
During a brief hearing attended by the defendant via video link, Mr Justice Sweeney set dates in January for a Newton hearing to decide the issues and sentencing.
He said the case would be listed on January 5 and 6, and either January 7 or 8, with the case scheduled to conclude on January 11.