David Wails, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong Image copyright Family Handouts
Image caption Scientist David Wails, 49, US citizen Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, and history teacher James Furlong, 36, were killed in the knife attack in Forbury Gardens

A parliamentary assistant who tried to save the lives of three men who were stabbed to death in a park says he was “heartened” by the public response.

James Furlong, David Wails and Joe Ritchie-Bennett were killed in the knife attack in Reading’s Forbury Gardens on Saturday.

James Antell, who works for Tory MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder, used his shirt to try and stem their bleeding.

He said he had been “shaken” by attack which was now “all a bit of a blur”.

Police are continuing to question Khairi Saadallah, 25, who has been arrested under the Terrorism Act. He came to the UK from Libya in 2012.

Image caption James Antell has been praised for his “remarkable and extraordinary effort”

Mr Antell said: “I tried my very best to identify where the injuries were and took my shirt and tried to apply pressure.

“It was certainly a big relief when the police did arrive to those of us that were with the victims.”

He said he still felt “a little bit shaken” by the “hideous and callous” attack but added his overriding thoughts were with the victims, including three people who needed hospital treatment for injuries, and their families.

‘Bravery and resilience’

“From what I saw the attacks seemed to be largely indiscriminate,” Mr Antell said.

“It’s all a bit of a blur – I was concerned for my safety and for the safety of others around.

“As much as this is a story of terror and violence and hate, it also exemplifies the bravery and resilience of the public.

“Looking back I was heartened by the response from members of the public and the emergency services and the wider Reading community who in the hours afterwards were providing sanctuary and doing all that they could to help.”

Mr Loder said he was “extremely proud” of his parliamentary assistant in the Commons for his “remarkable and extraordinary effort” following the stabbings.

He told MPs Mr Antell “ran courageously towards danger, his only focus to help the injured”.


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