Maida Vale 'hero' driver speaks after release: 'If you see evil it's your duty to stop it'

5 February 2022, 10:33 | Updated: 5 February 2022, 10:41

The driver who intervened in the Maida Vale killing, in which Yasmin Chkaifi died, spoke out
The driver who intervened in the Maida Vale killing, in which Yasmin Chkaifi died, spoke out. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The "hero" driver who ploughed his car into a knifeman in a bid to stop him killing a woman said it was his duty to stop "evil".

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The father, who is named as 26-year-old Abraham, was released by police and faces no further action after initially being arrested on suspicion of murder.

He said he prayed for forgiveness after the tragedy in Maida Vale, West London, when Yasmin Chkaifi was killed in the street by her ex-husband Leon McCaskie.

Horrified on-lookers tried to intervene before Abraham charged his blue Renault into the killer. McCaskie was pronounced dead at the scene.

Abraham, a father of two, told the Daily Mail: "Should you see an evil it is your duty to stop it with your hands.

Read more: 'Hero' driver who crashed into Maida Vale knifeman as he attacked woman released by police

Read more: Maida Vale: Mum-of-two stabbing victim told friend ex-husband 'will kill me'

"If you cannot, then you should stop it by speaking out. So I was thinking: 'How could I face God if I don't help? It is my duty, my religion.'

"In that moment I knew I had to act."

The electrician, who is originally from Chechnya, said he was on his way to work after oversleeping on January 24.

He heard shouting and screaming en route and saw a man with a blade stabbing a woman in the chest three times.

"Shocked and terrified", he said he realised he could not leave her to her fate.

"I had to help, to try to save her. I did not have time to consider. I thought the safest and quickest option was to push the man away from the woman with my car," he said.

"So I put my car into first gear and drove up the kerb and onto the pavement. It was a short distance, 10 or 12ft, and I pushed him, I made an impact. I managed to avoid the woman.

"Then I took my foot off the gas but my car didn't stop. The momentum continued and I knew the man was under my car.

"I opened the door and I saw his hand sticking out from under it. That sight stays with me and always will: the man's hand sticking out.

Police released Abraham after arresting him
Police released Abraham after arresting him. Picture: Alamy

"My car hit a garden wall and stalled and I tried to reverse but the engine wouldn't turn over. I kept trying to start the car, to free the man, but I couldn't. I shouted for help."

Abraham was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but huge support came from the public, who branded him a hero.

More than 75,000 people signed a petition calling for him to avoid a murder charge.

Abraham said he was in shock after being arrested. "I took my head in my hands and thought: 'How has this happened?' I'd tried to save a woman's life and I'd killed a man," he said.

A devout Muslim, he said he was scared he would go to jail and prayed in his holding cell after his arrest.

On February 1, the Metropolitan Police said he had been released and would face no further action.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson said: "He is considered a vital witness to our investigation and will be offered support from professionals to help him come to terms with the terrifying situation he was confronted with."

Ms Chkaifi, a mother, had reportedly spoken about her fears McCaskre would kill her and told a friend he had put cameras in her flat and stolen her phone and mail.

She died of multiple stab wounds, a post-mortem confirmed.

Witnesses to what happened have still been asked to come forward, either by calling police on 101 or using @MetCC on Twitter and quoting reference CAD 1496/24JAN

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.