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Police reveal Clapham chemical suspect's bank card 'hasn't been used in a week' as mother looks set to lose eye
6 February 2024, 06:32
Police have revealed that the bank card linked to a Clapham chemical attack suspect hasn't been used in a week, as the manhunt continues.
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Police revealed suspect Abdul Ezedi, 35, was previously convicted of a sexual offence in 2018, having made off from the scene of the attack with significant injuries to his face following the incident.
A series of raids have taken place across residences in both Newcastle and London in recent days, after Ezedi is said to have travelled down to London from the North in order to commit the attack.
It follows the last known sighting of the man suspected of throwing a corrosive chemical over a mother and her two daughters near Clapham Common.
Officers are still hunting for the Afghan asylum seeker, who hasn't been seen for nearly a week following the attack.
They also revealed that the suspect's bank card, which he used to travel by tube across London following the attack, hadn't been used in five days.
Police said on Monday that their main line of enquiry is that someone is harbouring him. A man was arrested on suspicion of helping Ezedi in the early hours of Monday morning.
The last confirmed sighting of Ezedi was on Southwark Bridge in central London on Wednesday evening - over two hours after the attack. His bank card was being used for Tube journeys and hasn’t been used since Wednesday night.
Police shared a photo of Ezedi on Allhallows Lane near the north side of Southwark Bridge at 9.47pm that evening, after leaving Tower Hill Tube station 14 minutes earlier. Ezedi, who suffered a serious facial injury, was seen with his hood up.
Commander Jon Savell said: “Our message here is clear – if you are harbouring Ezedi we will find and arrest you.
"This man is a dangerous individual who has changed forever the lives of a family – we are doing everything we can to trace him and that includes targeting his associates."
The female victim, who suffered potentially life-changing injuries, was known to Ezedi and remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.
Police said in a briefing on Monday that a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of helping the suspect. The 22-year-old, from London, was arrested in the early hours of Monday and has been released on bail.
Officers said that the two girls, aged eight and three, have been discharged from hospital and are expected to make "a good recovery". They are not Ezedi's children.
But their mother is expected to lose her right eye, and is still sedated. She remains in a critical but stable condition. Police said she had "very severe facial injuries" that she is likely to have for the rest of her life.
Ezedi suffered a serious injury to his right eye - and police are not ruling out that he may have come to further harm.
It is unclear what has happened to Ezedi, and may have fled the country, a former Met Police detective warned as the manhunt enters its fifth day.
Peter Kirkham, former detective chief inspector in the Metropolitan Police told LBC his "best guess" was that Ezedi was being sheltered by an ally or had escaped abroad.
He said: "He's not somebody where you're relying on the public to remember a description and be able to recognise a face in crowds of hundreds and thousands.
"But he's got a very distinctive injury to his face so he's going to be noticed."
Tom Swarbrick wonders how chemical attack suspect was granted asylum
Kirkham said he was "surprised that he hasn't come to light so far" and concluded that this left two options.
"The most likely is that he's somewhere being sheltered by friends and relatives," Kirkham said, "or secondly that he's managed to escape from the UK.
"I say the first one is probably favoured on the basis it doesn't appear to be a planned escape.
"He would have intended to drive away from the scene rather than be on tubes and busses and suchlike - but he had the collision with his vehicle it would seem."
Kirkham said another option may be that Ezedi had done himself harm but stressed it would generally come to light very swiftly if this was the case.