Clapham attack victim loses sight in one eye as friends plead for donations to help 'very long' road to recovery

21 February 2024, 08:08 | Updated: 21 February 2024, 08:28

Ezedi's body was found as it emerged the victim had lost sight in one eye
Ezedi's body was found as it emerged the victim had lost sight in one eye. Picture: Met Police/Alamy

By Will Taylor

The victim of the Clapham chemical attack has lost sight in one eye.

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Friends of the 31-year-old woman, who has not been named, are praying it returns fully in her other eye as they raise tens of thousands for her.

She is no longer sedated but it's feared she and her two young daughters, who were also subjected to the assault, have a "very, very long road ahead".

They released a statement after the body of her accused attacker, Abdul Ezedi, 35, was pulled from the Thames almost three weeks on from the attack in south London.

"Mum's still in critical care and desperate to be reunited with her girls.

Read more: Police hunting Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi find body in Thames near Tower of London after three week search

"We know Mum's lost her sight in one eye, and we're praying that it returns fully in the other.

"Our friend is a phenomenal mum and the strongest, most independent person we know.

"She's already making so much progress and is determined to get out of hospital as quickly as possible. But physically and mentally, there is a very, very long road ahead for her and the girls.

Ezedi's body was found by the Tower of London
Ezedi's body was found by the Tower of London. Picture: Met Police

"Like so many of us, the family were really struggling to make ends meet before the attack, so we just want their recovery to not be compounded by financial fears.

"We know times are tough and the level of support so far means the world. Every donation helps, and sends a powerful message against this evil attack.

"We kindly ask anyone reading this to consider donating even the cost of a coffee to show mum and the girls that the wider community has their back and they can feel safe again."

Officers have still not been able to speak to her but intend to once she has had more time to recover.

So far, friends have raised £50,000 for the mother from more than 2,000 donations.

Police hunted the Afghan asylum seeker, who worked at a pizza takeaway in Newcastle, since January 31.

He is thought to have spilt the alkaline substance on the woman's eight-year-old daughter and thrown the three-year-old daughter to the ground twice.

Detectives have probed if the attack followed a relationship breakdown Ezedi and the woman.

He was seen on CCTV wandering across London with his distinctive facial wound after the attack.

Ezedi's body was discovered at about 4pm on February 19 in the water at Tower Pier.

Ezedi's movements across London
Ezedi's movements across London. Picture: LBC

It was recovered by the Met’s Marine Policing Unit and has been viewed by detectives.

Based on his clothing and property found on his body, police "strongly believe" it is Ezedi.

He was thought to have "gone into the water" after he was last seen on Chelsea Bridge at 11.27pm on the night of the attack.

Read more: Specialist police unit begins search of River Thames in hunt for Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi

Read more: Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi jumped off a bridge into the River Thames and drowned, police believe

Police said it was 'quite likely' Ezedi has gone into the River Thames.
Police said it was 'quite likely' Ezedi has gone into the River Thames. Picture: Met Police

Officers from the specialist police unit carried out a number of low tide searches in the area surrounding Chelsea Bridge over the weekend of February 10 and 11.

They continued daily searches of the river before recovering the body on Monday.

Nearby workers told LBC that the pier was temporarily closed and boats with blue lights were seen in the water.

Police are continuing to investigate the attack but there have been no more arrests.

The body was found in the water near the Tower of London
The body was found in the water near the Tower of London. Picture: LBC

Commander Jon Savell said: "Based on the distinctive clothing he was wearing at the time of the attack and property found on his body, we strongly believe we have recovered the body of Ezedi.

"We have been in contact with his family to pass on the news.

"As you may expect after a considerable period of time in the strong current of the Thames, formal identification is not possible visually, nor from fingerprints.

"We will work with the coroner on other ways to complete formal identification, such as DNA testing and dental records. That may take some time.

"Our enquiries continue into the attack. I am pleased to say the condition of the 31-year-old woman has improved. She remains in hospital but she is in a stable condition and no longer sedated. We have still not been able to speak to her but hope to as soon as she is well enough.

"Again, I thank all those hundreds of members of the public who called us with information during the hunt for Ezedi.

"The public support for our investigation was overwhelming and every piece of information provided was followed up."