Woman injured in Clapham chemical attack had been in relationship with suspect, police say

Abdul Ezedi has links to Newcastle Credit: Metropolitan Police

Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi had been in a relationship with the woman he allegedly doused in corrosive liquid in south London, police revealed.

Ezedi continues to evade police a week after leaving a mother and her two young daughters badly injured.

Police revealed he had arranged a meeting with the victim before attacking her. They said the suspect's relationship with the woman had broken down.

Despite a nationwide manhunt, Ezedi has remained at large since January 31 after the woman and her girls, aged eight and three, were attacked with a corrosive alkali substance during the attack in Clapham, south London.

New CCTV footage was released of Ezedi crossing Westminster Bridge by the Houses of Parliament in London about two hours after the attack.

Ezedi was also injured in the attack. Detectives said his injuries to his right eye are significant and could be fatal if they remain untreated.

The Met Police released new CCTV footage of Ezedi walking the streets of London, Sejal Karia has the latest

Ezedi, who has links to Newcastle, allegedly threw the younger child to the ground before attempting to drive away from the scene, crashing into a stationary vehicle and fleeing on foot at 7.25pm.

The 31-year-old mother may lose the sight in her right eye and has been in hospital in a critical condition for the last week. She is still sedated and too ill to speak to police.

Her daughters, were also hurt but have since been discharged from hospital and their injuries are “not likely to be life-changing”.

On Wednesday, police revealed potential motives for Ezedi, including that he and the mother had been in a relationship.

Commander Jon Savell, from the Metropolitan Police, said the breakdown of the relationship could be a motive for the attack last week.

She remains sedated in hospital and is still too ill to speak to police.

She had agreed to meet Ezedi on the night of the attack, and she and her children were in a car with him when they were injured, police said.

A £20,000 reward has been offered by the Met to anyone with information leading to the 35-year-old’s arrest.

Counter terrorism officers, who specialise in tracking offenders, have "painstakingly" scoured hundreds of hours of CCTV.

Ezedi has now 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 Paul's Walk, passing the City of London School and then towards Blackfriars Bridge.

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

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

Commander Jon Savell said it “remains our belief that he is being helped by others” and the police investigation will continue to “target more of Ezedi’s associates”.

Officers arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender on Monday and later released him on bail.

Police said there is no evidence to suggest Ezedi had made advance preparations to go on the run.

Police attend the scene in Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common, south London, where the mother and her children were hurt Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

Detectives are working on the premise that he is either being hidden by someone or has come to harm.

More than 100 officers are now “dedicated” to the investigation, including experienced detectives through to local neighbourhood officers, with the Met being “supported by dozens of officers” from forces across the UK, including in Northumbria and British Transport Police.

The Met is also in touch with the National Crime Agency, the Home Office, UK Border Force and UK Visas and Immigration, with details of Ezedi circulated to all UK police forces and ports.

More than 200 calls have been received from members of the public with potential sightings, but they have since been discounted.

Three members of the public who came to the aid of the family during Wednesday’s attack, two aged in their 30s and one in her 50s, have all been discharged from hospital with minor burns.

Abdul Ezedi seen filmed on CCTV in Tesco on Caledonian Road, buying a bottle of water

Ezedi, believed to be from Afghanistan, is understood to have arrived in the UK in 2016, reportedly in the back of a lorry.

He was handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on January 9, 2018 after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault and exposure, after allegedly grabbing a woman's bottom without her consent the previous year.

He was put on the sex offender register for 10 years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Questions continue to swirl around how Ezedi came to be granted asylum in the UK despite his conviction, amid suggestions a tribunal judge ruled in favour of his claim after a priest confirmed he had converted to Christianity.

It is understood the priest in question was not Roman Catholic or from the Church of England.

On Tuesday, the diocese of Newcastle, in the Church of England, confirmed it had found “no evidence” of Ezedi “attending any of our churches, or being supported by our clergy in any asylum application”.

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