Clapham: Chemical attack manhunt continues for suspect convicted of sexual assault | UK News
A manhunt is continuing for the suspect in the Clapham chemical attack amid reports he was granted asylum after being convicted of a sexual assault.
Abdul Shokoor Ezedi is believed to have targeted a mother and two children with an alkaline substance in Clapham, south London, on Wednesday evening.
Sky News understands Ezedi was handed a suspended sentence for a sexual offence in Newcastle in 2018, and was discharged from probation supervision in 2020.
The latest development comes after police issued another photo of the former asylum seeker, who only had his application granted on his third attempt after arriving in the UK by lorry in 2016.
Clapham chemical attack latest: Suspect pictured with facial injuries
Sky News understands Ezedi, 35, was allowed to stay after a priest vouched for his conversion to Christianity, saying he was “wholly committed” to his new religion.
Ezedi had claimed his life would be in danger if he returned to his native Afghanistan.
On Thursday evening, Superintendent Gabriel Cameron said the new image, taken at 8.48pm on Wednesday, was of the last-known sighting of Ezedi in Caledonian Road, north London, and was less than two hours after the assault.
“The image shows Ezedi with what appears to be significant injuries to the right side of his face. This makes him distinctive.
“If you see Ezedi, call 999 immediately. He should NOT be approached.”
The suspect, from Newcastle, is believed to have travelled down to London on the same day as the attack near Clapham Common.
Both Northumbria Police and the British Transport Police are helping the Met with the manhunt.
Officers have also confirmed a car involved in the attack belonged to Ezedi, while the substance used in the attack was alkaline.
A 31-year-old mother and her three-year-old daughter, alongside her other daughter, aged eight, remain in hospital following the incident.
The mother and the younger child may have suffered life-changing injuries, according to police.
Officers said the suspect was known to the woman and described the attack as “targeted”.
A total of 12 people were hurt during the incident, including the mother and her two children, and five officers who were injured as they responded.
Officers say Ezedi attempted to make off from the scene in a car following the incident, but crashed with another vehicle, and then made off on foot in the direction of Clapham Common.
One witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told Sky News: “He grabbed one of the two children and violently grabbed them and slammed them on the floor.
“The lady then shouted: ‘My eyes! My eyes! Call the police, my eyes!’
“Then I saw him run off. It was all so traumatising.”