Reading stabbings: MP’s aide used shirt to stem victims’ bleeding

David Wails, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and James FurlongImage copyright
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Scientist David Wails, 49, US citizen Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, and history teacher James Furlong, 36, were killed in the knife attack

A parliamentary assistant tried to save the lives of three men who were stabbed to death in a park in Reading.

James Furlong, David Wails and Joe Ritchie-Bennett were killed in the knife attack in Reading’s Forbury Gardens on Saturday.

James Antell, who works for West Dorset Conservative MP Chris Loder, used his shirt in an effort to stem their bleeding.

He said he had been “shaken” by the attack which was “all a bit of a blur”.

Police are continuing to question Khairi Saadallah, 25, who has been arrested under the Terrorism Act. He came to the UK from Libya in 2012.

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James Antell has been praised for his “remarkable and extraordinary effort”

Mr Antell said: “I tried my very best to identify where the injuries were and took my shirt and tried to apply pressure.

“It was certainly a big relief when the police did arrive to those of us that were with the victims.”

He said he still felt “a little bit shaken” by the “hideous and callous” attack, but added his overriding thoughts were with the victims, including three people who needed hospital treatment for injuries, and their families.

‘Bravery and resilience’

“It’s all a bit of a blur – I was concerned for my safety and for the safety of others around,” Mr Antell said.

“As much as this is a story of terror and violence and hate, it also exemplifies the bravery and resilience of the public.

“Looking back I was heartened by the response from members of the public and the emergency services and the wider Reading community who in the hours afterwards were providing sanctuary and doing all that they could to help.”

Mr Loder said in the Commons that he was “extremely proud” of his parliamentary assistant for his “remarkable and extraordinary effort”.

He told MPs Mr Antell “ran courageously towards danger, his only focus to help the injured”.

Reading Borough Council has announced it plans to create a permanent memorial in Forbury Gardens to 49-year-old scientist Mr Wails, US citizen Mr Ritchie-Bennett, 39, and 36-year-old history teacher Mr Furlong.

The authority said it would work with the victims’ families and the community to create a memorial “where people can pay their respects to those who lost their lives, and everyone affected by the tragic events”.

It added it would share its plans “over the coming days and weeks”.

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