Reading terror attack victim James Furlong was 'kind and gentle' schoolteacher

  • london
  • June 21, 2020
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One of the victims in the Reading terror attack has been named by The Holt School in Wokingham as James Furlong, its head of history and government and politics.

Mr Furlong was stabbed to death 7pm on Saturday in Forbury Gardens in the town centre, in an incident that also left two others dead, and three people injured.

A 25-year-old man from Reading was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody.

The suspect is a Libyan refugee understood to have been granted asylum in the UK and mental health is being considered a major factor in the incident, a security source told the PA news agency.

Police officers cross the cordon at the scene of multiple stabbings in Reading (Reuters)

He is understood to be named Khairi Saadallah.

A letter from the school, which has been shared online, describes Mr Furlong as a “kind and gentle man” who had a “real sense of duty and cared for each and every one of our students”.

It continues: “He truly inspired everyone he taught through his passion for his subject and his dedication. He was determined that our students would develop a critical awareness of global issues and in doing so become active citizens and have a voice.”

Forensics officers respond to an attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading (PA)

Former pupils have described him as “simply the best”.

Responding to the news, Wokingham Labour tweeted: “Devastated to discover that James Furlong, one of the victims of the Reading stabbings, was a teacher at the Holt.

“His loss is a devastating blow to his family, colleagues, students, the wider Holt family and our whole community. Our thoughts are with them all.”