Clapham chemical attack suspect was in relationship with victim, police confirm, who say man's injuries could be 'fatal'

7 February 2024, 16:28 | Updated: 7 February 2024, 17:22

Abdul Ezedi tracked by police on CCTV cameras on the night of the attack between Blackfriars Station and Victoria Embankment
Abdul Ezedi tracked by police on CCTV cameras on the night of the attack between Blackfriars Station and Victoria Embankment. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

The Clapham chemical attack suspect was in a relationship with the mother who was wounded, police have confirmed, as they said the wanted man's injuries could be 'fatal' if they go untreated.

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The unnamed woman attacked last Wednesday night in south London agreed to meet Abdul Ezedi, and was travelling in a car with him when they were injured, the force said.

The 31-year-old woman and her two daughters, aged eight and three, were allegedly doused in an alkali substance by Ezedi. He then tried to run them over in a car before fleeing, police said.

Commander Jon Savell, from the Metropolitan Police, said the breakdown of the relationship could be a motive for the attack. Police previously confirmed Ezedi was not the father of the children.

Police also warned that the distinct facial injuries suffered by Ezedi, 35, could be fatal if left untreated. CCTV from the night of the incident appears to show a significant wound over the left side of his face.

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Officers will now return to the scene of the attack later this evening - a week after a 31-year-old woman and her two children were doused with the corrosive liquid.

Police said hundreds of calls have been received from the public with reported sightings, as they continued the manhunt for the wanted man.

The last sighting of Ezedi was at 11pm on January 31 where he was seen on CCTV crossing Vauxhall Bridge Road and walking along the river hours after the incident.

He was initially seen that evening using his bank card to travel around on the Tube network. His route appeared to broadly follow the River Thames, police said as they provided an update.

They said they were keeping an open mind about whether he jumped or been pushed into the water.

Police release CCTV of Clapham attack suspect

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Mr Savell told journalists that the massive manhunt for Ezedi is "an incredibly high priority attempted murder investigation".

Turning to potential motives, he said: "They were in a relationship and that relationship had broken down."

The victim of the attack currently remains sedated in hospital and is too ill to speak to police. She may still lose sight in her right eye.

A £20,000 reward has been issued to anyone with information leading to the arrest of Ezedi, who is believed to originally be from Afghanistan and arrived in the UK in 2016 reportedly in the back of a lorry.

It was previously revealed that he was handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court in January 2018, where he pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault and exposure. He was placed on the sexual offenders register for 10 years and was required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Questions still remain over how Ezedi came to be granted asylum in the UK despite his claimed conviction to Christianity.

A tribunal judge ruled in favour of his claim for leave to remain after a priest - believed not to be Roman Catholic or from the Church of England - confirmed he was "wholly committed" to his new religion.

Police previously confirmed Ezedi had been traced from his last-known position at 9.47pm on Allhallows Lane in the City of London.

At 9.54pm he travelled along Upper Thames Street and then into Pauls Walk, passing the City of London School and then towards Blackfriars Bridge.

The most recent sighting was at 10.04pm when he passed the Unilever building and headed towards Victoria Embankment, the Met said.

They tracked his movements around the Tube network using his bank card, but it has not been used since that day.

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