Met say motive for Clapham chemical attack was ‘relationship breakdown’ as hunt for Ezedi continues

The manhunt for Abdul Shokoor Ezedi has been under way for more than a week after a woman and her two daughters were attacked with a corrosive substance near Clapham Common.

The Met have said the motivation for the attack on January 31 appears to be the “breakdown of a relationship”. Officers say the mother agreed to meet him on the day of the incident.

Police are treating the attack as an attempted murder.

In an update, officers said the 31-year-old mother was still sedated in hospital and too ill to speak due to her “significant injuries”.

She may lose sight in her right eye after being set upon with a corrosive liquid. Her two daughters – aged eight and three – have been discharged from hospital. Their injuries were assessed as not life-changing.

Police have said Ezedi’s injuries could be fatal without medical treatment (Picture: The Met)

The Met has offered a £20,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the 35-year-old’s arrest and successful charge.

Ezedi, who is from Newcastle, is not the father of the children in the attack. 

Met Police Commander Jon Savell said Ezedi suffered a “significant injury” during the attack which could be “life threatening” and will “continue to deteriorate”. He has not been to hospital, police said, and hospitals remain on high alert.

 Officers have been tracing his movements from when he was last seen on the evening of the attack.

The most recent sighting of Ezedi was at around 11pm on the night of the attack when he was seen crossing Vauxhall Bridge and walking towards Grosvenor Road on the north bank of the Thames. He was wearing a dark puffer jacket with the hood pulled up.

CCTV footage showing Ezedi crossing Vauxhall Bridge on the night of the attack (Picture: The Met)

Immediately after the attack, Ezedi boarded a Tube at Clapham South station. He was then filmed on CCTV at a Tesco in Caledonian Road, Islington, with a “significant facial injury” buying a bottle of water, before leaving and turning right.

Shortly after 9.45pm Ezedi was seen in Allhallows Lane near Cannon Street railway station in the City, and then headed towards Blackfriars Bridge. 

Police had tracked his movements around the Tube network using his bank card, but said it had not been used since Wednesday.

Officers said they believe Ezedi was now either being hidden by someone or had come to harm.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on Monday morning on suspicion of assisting an offender in connection with the attack. He was released on bail later that day.

The most recent sighting of Ezedi in Grosvenor Road after walking across Vauxhall Bridge (Picture: The Met)

Commander Savell said the man allegedly helped to hide Ezedi after the attack, but a “number of lines of inquiry” were being pursued.

Detective Superintendant Rick Sewart, investigating, said the search could “take several weeks” if Ezedi is being kept at one address and being given food and water.

The Met is being supported by officers from the Counter Terrorism fugitive team, as well as by forces across the UK, including Northumbria and British Transport Police, the National Crime Agency, the Home Office, UK Border Force and UK Visas and Immigration.

Commander Savell said: “It remains our belief that he is being helped by others. Our enquiries continue to target more of Ezedi’s associates.

“Anyone with information is asked to call our 24/7 hotline on 020 7175 2784 or, for an immediate sighting, dial 999.

“To remain anonymous, please contact the independent charity, Crimestoppers.”

Pictured top: Police have been searching for chemical attack suspect Abdul Shokoor Ezedi for more than a week (Picture: The Met)

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