Jason Beer KC, Samantha Leek KC, Francesca Whitelaw KC, Bilal Rawat, Cicely Hayward and John Goss appear in the Second Pre-Inquest Review for the Inquests arising out of the Reading Terror Attack

6 June 2023

On 5th June 2023, the Rt Hon Sir Adrian Fulford PC, sitting as a Judge Coroner, held the second Pre-Inquest Review hearing of 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 20 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 Pre-Inquest Review hearing took place at the Royal Courts of Justice. The Inquests are due to be heard over a period of approximately 6 weeks starting in January 2024.

Members of Chambers are instructed in the Inquests as follows:

  • Jason Beer KC and John Goss are instructed by the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police
  • Samantha Leek KC and Cicely Hayward are instructed by the Secretary of State for Justice
  • Francesca Whitelaw KC is instructed by the Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Bilal Rawat is instructed by MTC Novo


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


Jason Beer KC

Call 1992 | Silk 2011

Samantha Leek KC

Call 1993 | Silk 2012

Francesca Whitelaw KC

Call 2003 | Silk 2023

Bilal Rawat

Call 1995

Cicely Hayward

Call 2009

John Goss

Call 2015

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