READING Pride has said its members' thoughts remain with the families and friends of the terror attack victims following the life sentencing of attacker Khairi Saadallah today (January 11).

The 26-year-old shouted “Allahu akhbar” as he fatally stabbed friends and Pride supporters James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49 and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, in Forbury Gardens on June 20 last year.

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Three other people – Stephen Young, 51, Patrick Edwards, 29, and Nishit Nisudan, 34, – were also injured in the horrific attack before Saadallah threw away the eight-inch knife and ran off, pursued by an off-duty police officer.

Chairman of Reading Pride, Paul Britt, said today: "With the tragic loss of life, the sentencing today may help provide closure to help start the healing process within our community.

"We continue to urge the Prime Minister, central and local government, along with support organisations, to work together and implement future safeguards to help prevent this from happening again.

"We confirm our commitment to work with the Reading community to remember Joe, James and David.

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"Our thoughts go out to the families, friends and colleagues during this difficult time."

Saadallah, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, pleaded guilty to three murders and three attempted murders.

On Monday, Mr Justice Sweeney sentenced him at the Old Bailey to a whole-life order, saying it was a “rare and exceptional” case.

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The judge said: “The two groups were each doing nothing more than sitting in gardens, a focal point of Reading since the 18th century.”

The judge said the defendant had done substantial planning.

He added: “During the course of the attack and afterwards and because he was seeking to advance a political, religious or ideological cause, the defendant was shouting in Arabic, ‘God is the greatest’ and ‘God accept my jihad’.”

He rejected the argument that Saadallah was suffering a mental illness at the time of the killings.