Charity worker who knew Newcastle fugitive 'shocked' after hearing about chemical substance attack

  • Katie Cole has the latest on the manhunt for Abdul Ezedi, who is from Newcastle

A charity worker who knew the suspect in a chemical substance attack has said he was "shocked" to hear about the incident.

A manhunt is underway to find Abdul Ezedi, 35, from Newcastle, following an attack in London which left a girl and her mother with potentially life-changing injuries.

A refugee worker, who wants to remain anonymous, has revealed that Ezedi had visited a charity in Byker every fortnight for toiletries and food.The fugitive was a regular visitor to the Justice and Peace Refugee Project - which provides asylum seekers with basic provisions.

"He was calm, quiet and caused no trouble. He would come in and sit on his own and have a cuppa. He seemed friendly," the volunteer at the service said.

"I was really shocked when I heard about attack."

The attack on Lessar Avenue injured 12 people in total. Credit: ITV News

Officers from across the Met Police, Northumbria and the British Transport Police, are working together to locate and arrest the fugitive.

Ezedi has been described by police as having “significant injuries to the right side of his face”, and was last seen at a supermarket in north London on Wednesday evening.

The sighting came just over an hour after an attack on a 31-year-old woman, believed to be known to Ezedi, who was with her daughters, aged three and eight.

All three remain in hospital.

A shopkeeper in Byker has said that there has been a "rise in police presence" in the area following the incident.

Lee Nesbitt added that the local community has been on high alert, and said: "Customers have come in this morning and said 'I've walked down the street and everyone that I walk pass, I'm looking to see if there is a scar on the face."

One woman in the area said that "it's frightening" that Ezedi has links to Byker.

"It's a disgrace.. people are feeling vulnerable," said another man.

It is believed that Ezedi entered the UK in 2016. Credit: Met Police

Ezedi, who is believed to be from Afghanistan, was convicted of a sexual offence in 2018 and given a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he was sentenced on 9 January of that year after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure.

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