5 Essex Chambers barristers appear in the Inquests arising out of the Reading Terror Attack

15 January 2024

On 15th January 2024, the Rt Hon Sir Adrian Fulford PC, sitting as a Judge Coroner, will commence hearing the Inquests into the deaths of Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails which arose out of a terror attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading on 20th June 2020. The attack was perpetrated by Khairi Saadallah who subsequently pleaded guilty to three charges of murder and three charges of attempted murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Inquests will consider whether the murders were preventable, including consideration of Saadallah’s involvement with policing, prison and probation, including MAPPA, and agencies involved in counter-terrorism, including Prevent.

The Inquests will take place at the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey and are due to be heard over a period of approximately 6 weeks.

Members of Chambers are instructed in the Inquests as follows:

Media coverage of the Inquests can be found on the websites of the BBC and The Standard.

5 Essex Chambers is a specialist set for inquests and public inquiries, particularly those involving national security, terrorism, policing, and the legal system.

As well as these inquests, in recent years members of chambers have appeared in the London Bridge, Westminster and Fishmonger’s Hall Inquests and the Manchester Arena Inquiry, and are also currently appearing in the Dawn Sturgess (Novichok) Inquiry and the Inquiry into alleged extra-judicial killings by UK Special Forces in Afghanistan.


Fiona Barton KC

Call 1986 | Silk 2011

Francesca Whitelaw KC

Call 2003 | Silk 2023

Bilal Rawat

Call 1995

Beatrice Collier

Call 2004

Cicely Hayward

Call 2009

Alice Meredith

Call 2013

John Goss

Call 2015

Jack Palmer

Call 2022

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