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Everything known so far about Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi

A manhunt for chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi has continued into its sixth day.

The 35-year-old from the Newcastle area is being sought by police in connection with an incident where a mother and two children were doused with an alkaline substance in Clapham, south London, last Wednesday.

Ezedi was last seen passing the Unilever building near Blackfriars Station, heading towards Victoria Embankment later that night.

Police have offered a £20,000 reward to anyone with information leading to his arrest.

Here the PA news agency sums up everything known so far about the suspect:

– What were his last known movements?

Detectives say Ezedi’s vehicle was seen in Newcastle at 00.15am on Wednesday. By 6.30am the vehicle was seen travelling into Tooting, south London.

A further sighting of his car was confirmed in Croydon at 4.30pm and he was seen driving in Streatham at 7pm.

The attack on a 31-year-old woman, believed to be known to Ezedi, and her daughters, aged three and eight, took place in Lessar Avenue in Clapham at 7.25pm that night.

Police at the scene in Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common, south London
Police at the scene in Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common, south London (James Weech/PA)

Ezedi made off in his car but it crashed nearby. He then left the vehicle and ran off.

At 7.33pm the suspect boarded a Northern line train at Clapham South Tube station, and got off at King’s Cross just before 8pm.

He was seen on CCTV leaving a Tesco Express at 21 Caledonian Road, near King’s Cross, and turning right.

He had significant facial injuries and is believed to have bought a bottle of water.

Abdul Ezedi on Allhallows Lane
An image taken from CCTV footage of Abdul Ezedi on Allhallows Lane (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Ezedi re-entered King’s Cross Tube station at 9pm and boarded a southbound Victoria Line train, changing at Victoria Station to board a District Line Tube eastbound, exiting Tower Hill Underground Station at 9.33pm.

He was seen on Allhallows Lane in the City of London at 9.47pm.

At 9.54pm he travelled along Upper Thames Street and then into Pauls 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, police said.

Investigators tracked his movements around the Tube network using his bank card, but it has not been used since last Wednesday.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

– Does he have any previous convictions?

Ezedi was convicted of a sexual offence in 2018.

He avoided jail after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault and exposure, instead being placed on the sex offender register for 10 years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work when he was handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on January 9 of that year.

Ezedi was accused of grabbing the bottom of a woman without her consent in 2017, as well as committing a sex act that same year, according to documents detailing the indictment which were disclosed by the court to the PA news agency on Tuesday.

– What do we know about Ezedi’s immigration status?

Ezedi, thought to be from Afghanistan, is believed to have been granted asylum in 2020 on his third attempt and despite his conviction.

It is thought he arrived in the UK on the back of a lorry in 2016 and had claimed to have converted to Christianity to back up his asylum bid.

A priest confirmed Ezedi had converted to Christianity and was “wholly committed” to his new religion, The Daily Telegraph reported.
It is understood the priest in question was not Roman Catholic or from the Church of England.

Clapham Common incident
CCTV image of Abdul Ezedi at King’s Cross Underground station (Met Police/PA)

The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle said in a statement it had “found nothing” to suggest he had become a Catholic but checks were continuing.

It said: “Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with the victims of this appalling attack in south London.

“We can confirm that Abdul Shakoor Ezedi visited our diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project, a charitable venture which assists a wide range of people who come to us in need.

“We are in the process of checking if this individual was received into the Catholic faith in any of our parishes, and have so far found nothing to support that. We are also investigating whether he was helped in other ways.

“The diocese will assist the police investigations in any way we can.”

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”.

It added that its clergy “will continue to support asylum seekers as they engage with the Home Office application process, and the scrutiny this involves”.

– Was he injured in the Clapham attack?

CCTV from Wednesday night shows Ezedi with what police have described as very “significant injuries to the right side of his face”.

At a press conference last Friday, Metropolitan Police Commander Jon Savell addressed him directly, saying: “Abdul, you clearly have got some very significant injuries.

“We’ve seen the images. You need some medical help, so do the right thing and hand yourself in.”

– What relationships does he have to the victims?

The 31-year-old woman who may lose the sight in her right eye after being doused with corrosive liquid is believed to be known to Ezedi.

He is not the father of the children in the attack and was in the capital visiting the mother, police believe.