Police seize items at address linked to man suspected of chemical attack in London

  • london
  • February 2, 2024
  • Comments Off on Police seize items at address linked to man suspected of chemical attack in London
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Police have seized two empty bottles with corrosive warning labels after raids on addresses linked to the man suspected of a chemical attack on a mother and her two young daughters in London.

As the manhunt continued into a third day, Scotland Yard appealed for Abdul Ezedi to hand himself in. He is believed to have driven from his home in Newcastle to London early on Wednesday morning carrying the chemicals he would use hours later.

Addressing the suspect directly via broadcasters on Friday, Met police commander Jon Savell said: “Abdul, you clearly have got some fairly significant injuries. We’ve seen the images, you need some medical help. So do the right thing and hand yourself in.”

Detectives said the mother remained under sedation after suffering “life-changing injuries”, but her children are not thought not to be in as perilous a position as first feared.

Clapham attacker last seen heading south, says Met police – video

The incident took place at about 7.30pm on Wednesday in Clapham, south London. CCTV footage showed a man running around a car before climbing into the driver’s seat. A woman and child could be seen in front of the vehicle holding their hands to their faces.

A total of five search warrants were executed, two in east London and three in Newcastle. The containers were found at one of the latter.

“Two empty containers with corrosive warnings on the label were found at an address in Newcastle. Forensic tests are currently ongoing to see if the containers held the substance used in the attack in Clapham,” Savell said.

He added that police believe Ezedi left his home in Newcastle in the very early hours of Wednesday morning. He was last seen at King’s Cross underground station in north London on Wednesday, bearing an injury to his face. But they said they now believed he stayed in London, taking a southbound tube train.

It has also emerged that Ezedi was placed on the sex offender register for 10 years in 2019, having pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure at Newcastle crown court.

In Newcastle, a charity worker who knows Ezedi described him as someone who appeared quiet, calm and “very isolated”.

The fugitive is understood to have been living as a single man at a hostel in Byker, Newcastle, for at least three years. On Friday, there was almost no police presence in the area, suggesting that police were not looking for him near his last address.

Every fortnight, Ezedi would visit the Justice and Peace Refugee Project – close to the hostel – which provides asylum seekers with basic provisions.

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The charity worker, who wished to remain anonymous, described Ezedi as “a very quiet and calm” person. “He would never complain. He didn’t come in with anyone. He was very isolated. He would sit and drink a cup of tea or coffee.

“I was shocked when I saw the news. My friend, who is also a charity worker, told me about an attacker who was from Newcastle. I looked at the news and when I saw his picture I was shocked. I never expected such violence from him. He was friendly. He didn’t talk much about his life; he never mentioned his past or any friends. The last time I saw him he was thin, he looked weak and vulnerable.”

Police said Ezedi was seen in the Tooting area of south-west London at about 6.30am, then at several other points in south London throughout the day prior to the attack in Clapham.

Within eight minutes of the attack, he had boarded a train at nearby Clapham South tube station, police said, and he was later seen at King’s Cross station. He then took a Victoria line train south.

“The mother remains very poorly in hospital and she’s sedated at the moment. We expect that those injuries will be life-changing,” Savell said on Friday. “Thankfully, we’ve had an update from the hospital that the two young children that were with her, their injuries aren’t as serious as first thought and they are not likely to be life-changing. They remain with Mum in the care of the NHS, and we of course wish them the very best recovery that we can.”

Police have warned the public that the suspect is dangerous, should not be approached, and anyone who spots him should call 999 immediately.