Libyan man admits stabbing three to death in UK park

A 26-year-old Libyan man pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday for stabbing three men to death as they sat in an English city park.

Khairi Saadallah admitted to three counts of murder and three of attempted murder for the June 20 attack in Reading, 64km west of London.

James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, were enjoying a warm Saturday evening in the city’s Forbury Gardens park when they were stabbed. Each died from a single stab wound. Three other men were injured.

Police declared the stabbings a terrorist attack. Prosecutors said Saadallah, an asylum-seeker who was living in Reading, stabbed all six victims within two minutes while shouting “Allahu akbar” — the Arabic phrase for “God is great”.

Chief Constable John Campbell of Thames Valley Police said at the time of the slayings that officers arrived to a “horrific” scene. Unarmed officers detained the suspect within five minutes.

Judge Nigel Sweeney said during Wednesday’s hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court that Saadallah maintained he was not motivated by an ideological cause and had not done substantial planning for the attack.

The judge set a sentencing hearing for the week of December 7.

– AP

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