Statement: Forbury Gardens Public Inquiry 2023

Forbury Gardens Public Inquiry 2023

In Nov 2016, RSG became aware first-hand not only of Saadallah’s potential for violence but also of the vulnerable state of his mental health. He became aggressive during a support session at our office. We called the police, and he was subsequently arrested after assaulting members of the public shortly afterwards.

This marks the point where RSG became concerned about the potential for his radicalisation and the need for support for his mental health as he started going in and out of prison.

We believe the lessons learned from the Forbury Gardens Public Inquiry need to be drawn from at least 2016 when he informed us he wanted to go home to fight to avenge the death of his family members. This is also the point concerns were raised and shared by the wider voluntary sector that he wanted to martyr himself.

RSG believes the tragedy at Forbury Garden in June 2020 was avoidable. RSG spent the years after 2016 up to 2020 trying to get or be assured that Saadallah was getting appropriate mental health support. As a small charity, we faced many barriers in doing so.

RSG believes the coordination and communication processes of all the agencies and charities involved in the support of Saadallah, especially around his mental health, must be considered in the lessons we all need to establish and learn from.

If we miss these lessons, we will have failed James Furlong, David Wails, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, and their families, who are fighting to ensure this tragedy never happens again.

Nick Harborne, CEO
Refugee Support Group

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