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‘He never hurt anyone in his life’: Family’s tribute to Reading terror attack victim

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The family of one of the Reading terror attack victims have paid tribute to him, saying "he never hurt anyone in his life".

In a statement released by police, the parents of scientist David Wails said: "David was a kind and much loved son, brother and uncle, who never hurt anyone in his life."

Mr Wails and his friends James Furlong and Joe Ritchie-Bennett were killed in the town centre on Saturday evening.

Image: James Furlong (L), Joe Ritchie (C) and David Wails (R) were killed in the Reading terror attack

The three men were in Forbury Gardens at the time of the attack.

The statement from Mr Wails's parents added: "We are broken-hearted at losing him and in such a terrible way.

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"We will treasure our wonderful memories of him and he will always be with us in our hearts."

Mr Wails's employer in Reading paid tribute to him as "a gentle, thoughtful man" who would be "much missed" by colleagues.

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Johnson Matthey, a global chemicals company, said: "We are devastated by the death of our colleague Dr Dave Wails.

"Dave was a highly valued and experienced member of the Johnson Matthey family.

"We can confirm that he had worked at JM since 2000 following the completion of his PhD at the University of York and several post-doctoral positions.

"He was an expert in catalysis and much of his career focused on using science for cleaner energy applications.

"Dave was proud to use his expertise to make a positive impact on the world. He was a well-liked colleague who will be much missed."

Khairi Saadallah
Image: Khairi Saadallah

The suspect – believed to be 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah – is in custody after being detained on suspicion of murder and re-arrested under the Terrorism Act.

The families of the two other victims have also paid tribute to their loved ones.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett's brother-in-law, Stephen Bennett, and sister-in-law Katy Bennett, said: "Joe was the most kind, caring and loving person that you could meet.

"We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken. Joe will always be with us in our hearts. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time."

Joe Ritchie-Bennett's father speaks to Sky News about his son
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Mr Ritchie-Bennett, 39, was originally from Philadelphia in the US but had been living in the UK for 15 years.

He worked for a pharmaceutical company in Reading, Berkshire.

His father Robert Ritchie, a retired police chief inspector, described his son as "marvellous, loving and caring" and "like a magnet", bringing people together.

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Speaking to Sky News from the family home in the US city of Philadelphia, he said of his son: "Well he was an absolute marvellous individual. Loving, caring person. We described him as almost like a magnet, he just brought people together.

"And everyone who knew him and met him I could truly say became friends with him."

Mr Ritchie said he and his wife, Charlene, last spoke to their son on Friday night.

"I spoke to him almost every day so I last spoke to him Friday, the day before he was murdered."

"He was fine. He was great. He was telling us his plans for the weekend and he was always excited and enthusiastic about everything that he did," Mr RiRead More – Source

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