‘Serious questions’ over Reading terrorist being freed just two weeks before attack

History teacher James Furlong was stabbed to death in a terror attack at the hands of a failed Libyan asylum seeker last year (Image: PA)

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The family of one of the three stabbed to death by a failed asylum seeker in Reading last year has raised "serious questions" over how he was able to carry out the attack given his criminal history.

History teacher James Furlong, 36, died alongside scientist Dr David Wails, 49, and US citizen Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, when 26-year-old Khairi Saadallah killed them in Reading in June last year.

James' father welcomed the life sentence for Saadallah following the vicious terror attack, saying no other outcome would've been acceptable.

But he has raised "serious questions" over why his son's killer was released back into society despite his criminal history.

Speaking after the sentence, Gary Furlong said: "On the facts of this case, there are now serious questions that need answering, most notably, how the killer was ever in a position to commit these horrific acts.

James Furlong's father Gary Furlong raised 'serious questions' over how his son's attacker was able to act they way he did
(Image: PA)

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"Seeking asylum here in 2012 he has obtained a litany of criminal convictions, including assaults on the public, police, and emergency services, along with carrying a bladed weapon.

"Whilst in prison it was decided by the Secretary of State on June 4, 2020, just two weeks prior to the attack, that his deportation was in the public interest but for legal reasons it could not happen.

"Despite his criminal history and threats made before the attack, he was then released back into society immediately and was freely able to commit this horrendous act on the public."

Khairi Saadallah killed three people when he carried out the terror attack in Reading
(Image: PA)

On the sentence handed down by Mr Justice Sweeney on Monday, he said: "We as a family welcome the whole life order sentence given. No other outcome would have been acceptable to us.

"We'd like to thank the prosecution and investigation team, along with the judge for ensuring justice has been given to James, Joe, and David's killer and also for the other victims who were injured that day.

"The past six months have been extremely difficult for our family and we are especially grateful for the support we've received in particular from our police family liaison officers.

Khairi Saadallah following his arrest on murder charges in Reading
(Image: COUNTER TERRORISM POLICING SOUTH)

"We'd like to thank James' friends, family as well as work colleagues and pupils from the whole school who have been a great comfort throughout.

"We would also like to thank the public and emergency services that were there that evening to try and help, their lives now impacted by the events."

He added: "James was a wonderful man and we now have to focus on all the good things about James's life. Thank you."

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