Clapham suspect arranged to meet victim before attack, say policeon February 7, 2024 at 9:29 pm

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Police continue to search for corrosive liquid attack suspect Abdul Shokoor Ezedi for a seventh day.

A CCTV image of Abdul Shokoor EzediImage source, Metropolitan Police

The suspect in the Clapham alkali attack was in a relationship with the injured woman, police believe, and the breakdown of that relationship may have been his motive.

Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, 35, is believed to have arranged a meeting with the woman, who is still sedated in hospital.

In its latest update, police said he is wanted for attempted murder.

He was last seen on 31 January, after the attack on the mother and her two girls in south London.

The Metropolitan Police called on Ezedi to hand himself in.

Police said there is a “very strong indication” that Ezedi had been in a relationship with the woman but it had broken down.

He arranged to meet the woman before attacking her with the corrosive liquid, police said.

“We can’t give any details about how long the relationship had taken place or how it broke down,” Cdr Jon Savell told a press briefing.

The 31-year-old woman remains sedated and in hospital. Police say she may lose sight in her right eye as a result of the attack.

Her daughters have been discharged and are recovering from their injuries.

The Met released a new last known location for Ezedi hours after the attack.

CCTV shows him crossing Vauxhall Bridge and onto Vauxhall Bridge Road at 23:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Police said that Ezedi’s injuries appear “very significant” and could even be fatal if not treated. They do not believe he has received hospital treatment.

There are many theories about where the suspect could have escaped to.

“He could have gone north, he could have gone east, south, west or he could have gone abroad,” Cdr Jon Savell said.

He added there is a possibility Ezedi could have gone into the River Thames, but there have been no reports of anyone entering the river and no bodies have been recovered that match his.

Police believe Ezedi, who is from the Newcastle area but believed to have travelled to the UK on a lorry from Afghanistan in 2016, is not the father of the children injured in the attack, aged eight and three, and was in the capital visiting their mother.

A £20,000 reward for information leading to his capture has been offered by the Met Police.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in London on Monday on suspicion of assisting an offender. He has since been bailed.

At the police briefing, Darius Nasimi, of the charity Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, said his organisation was working closely with the police to make sure the Afghan community are reached as widely as possible.

“Violence against women and girls cannot be tolerated,” he said, before issuing a plea for anyone harbouring Ezedi or helping him to avoid capture to come forward.

Mr Nasimi stressed the attack is “not a reflection of the people of Afghanistan who are in the UK”.

Ezedi was convicted of a sexual offence in 2018 after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure.

He was given a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court and put on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Ezedi was later granted asylum after two failed attempts. He was allowed to stay in the country after a priest confirmed he had converted to Christianity.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said it had been “disappointing to see the mischaracterisation of the role of churches and faith groups in the asylum system”.

“It is the job of the government to protect our borders and of the courts to judge asylum cases,” Justin Welby said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

“The Church is called to love mercy and do justice. I encourage everyone to avoid irresponsible and inaccurate comments.”

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