News Criminal Defence 13th Jan 2021

Fiona Robertson appears in Reading terrorism case

Fiona Robertson represented Khairi Saadallah who pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder before Sweeney J at the Central Criminal Court.

The offences were committed in Reading in the early evening of Saturday 20 June 2020 as members of the public relaxed in Forbury Gardens following the relaxation of the first lock down. Mr Saadallah attacked his victims without warning using a large kitchen knife before fleeing the scene. He was pursued by members of the public before being detained nearby.

Following a trial of issue Sweeney J concluded Mr Saadallah had been trained to fight in 2011 as part of an extremist Islamic militia in Libya against the Gaddafi regime and held extremist Islamic views from this time. He found the purchase of clothing, an 8 inch kitchen knife and a reconnaissance visit to Forbury Gardens three days prior to the attack demonstrated the offences were planned and Mr Saadallah intended to kill as many people as possible for the purpose of advancing his extremist Islamic cause. This was demonstrated by him shouting “God is the greatest” and “God accept my jihad” during and after the attack.

The case has attracted widespread national press attention which can be found here:

BBC News | The Guardian | Independent | Sky News | Evening Standard

Fiona was instructed by Matthew Ness at Hennessy & Hammudi and was led by Rossano Scarmardella QC.

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