The families of the Reading terror attack victims have said they “fundamentally question” whether their faith in authorities to protect their relatives was misplaced, at the conclusion of inquest evidence.

Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails were murdered by Khairi Saadallah, who had a history of offending, on June 20 2020 in Forbury Gardens.

Three other people, Stephen Young, Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, were also injured before Saadallah threw away the 8in knife and ran off, pursued by an off-duty police officer.

Mr Furlong’s father, Gary Furlong, told reporters that all the victims’ families had listened with “shock and utter disappointment” during the inquest, adding that “poor communication” between public bodies meant the killer’s risk was not properly calculated.

Forbury Gardens incident
Joe Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails were murdered (Family handout/PA)

Staff members in probation, immigration, police and MI5 have all given evidence over the course of a number of weeks – with one probation witness breaking down in court as she recalled unknowingly “managing an unconvicted murderer”.

The inquest also heard the Home Office dealt with Saadallah with “woeful inadequacy” before the killings, when the director of the department’s Foreign National Offenders Returns Command (FNORC) answered questions.

A counsellor said she “harassed” mental health services to examine the terror attacker in the year before the killings, with his mental state forming a large part of proceedings.

The court also heard Thames Valley Police failed to find a knife at Saadallah’s home during a welfare check the day before the attacks, because officers were not told he was threatening to harm himself and others.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey after inquest evidence concluded on Friday, Mr Furlong said: “For six weeks we have listened to evidence given in the inquests into the deaths of our beloved Joseph, David and James.

Forbury Gardens incident
Reading attacker Khairi Saadallah (Thames Valley Police/PA)

“We have listened as public bodies and individuals have given their account of their dealings with Khairi Saadallah in the years, months and weeks before he carried out his murderous attack.

“As we have listened, our shock and utter disappointment at the way these public bodies have functioned has deepened.

“It has deepened to the point that we fundamentally question whether our faith in their combined ability to protect our families was misplaced.

“Public bodies have explained the challenge they faced in measuring and balancing the risk that Saddallah posed.

“But we have heard evidence of poor communication, meaning the individuals tasked with monitoring Saadallah and protecting the public did not have full and accurate information about the risk of harm he posed.

“We trust the judge coroner will take all of this into account when he gives his conclusion.”

In January 2021, Saadallah was handed a whole-life sentence at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to three murders and three attempted murders.

Judge Coroner Sir Adrian Fulford is expected to deliver his findings on April 26.