Mother-of-two murdered by ex in street told friend ‘I think he will kill me’

·4-min read

A mother-of-two stabbed to death in the street by her abusive ex-husband told a friend two years ago “I think he will kill me”.

Yasmin Chkaifi said in 2020 that her former partner, Leon McCaskre, had put cameras in her flat and had stolen her mail and phone in order to get her personal information.

The 43-year-old was stabbed to death in front of horrified onlookers in Chippenham Road, Maida Hill, west London, on Monday, with a driver mowing down McCaskre in order to stop the attack.

Her friend Adele-Sara Richards, who knew her as Yaz, told the PA news agency that in April 2020, Ms Chkaifi messaged her to say: “He’s had cameras in my house recording me for months.”

She went on: “He’s stolen my mail, my phone, has access to all my personal data.

“I think he will kill me. I’ve tried everything.”

Phone messages
Messages between Ms Chkaifi and her friend Adele-Sara Richards in April 2020 (Adele-Sara Richards/PA)

One of her sons told MailOnline that she had been continually harassed by her ex-husband, who had made her life “hell”.

He said: “It was a very abusive relationship which got worse after the divorce.

“My mother was continually being harassed and intimidated by this man.

“He made her life hell.

“I was always in touch with the police but they did nothing to help her.

“There was even a panic alarm installed in our flat – that’s how scared she was of this man.

“He was a monster.”

Yasmin Chkaifi
Yasmin Chkaifi was described as ‘the most pure and genuine soul’ by her family (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog is now deciding if it will open an investigation into the contact between Ms Chkaifi and officers before she died.

A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have received a referral from the Metropolitan Police regarding their contact with Yasmin Chkaifi prior to her tragic death in Maida Vale, London on January 24.

“We are currently assessing the available information, and have requested more, to determine what further action may be required from us.”

Tributes have been paid to Ms Chkaifi, who was a qualified childminder, had worked in a school and was studying for a master’s degree.

Ms Richards, who described how she supported her after her mother died, said: “She was a good soul. It’s very rare in life you come across a good soul. She always had a happy disposition.

“She was just a lovely person.”

Another friend, American PhD student Olivia Jones, 30, who lives in Brent, said: “I didn’t know Yasmin well, but she made me feel as though I did. A year ago, Yasmin opened her doors to my partner and I at the time and hosted us for a meal.

“She was incredibly kind, hospitable and an amazing cook and dancer. She had a bubbly personality and a confidence about her that was so attractive.

“She was proud of her Moroccan heritage and a spiritual woman. We spoke about Islam, identity and social justice. She was a good person.”

A police officer at the scene
A police officer at the scene on Monday (Aaron Chown/PA)

Family members paid tribute to Ms Chkaifi, who was also known as Wafat, in a statement on Facebook.

They said: “She was full of life, always stayed positive and always saw the best in everyone.

“Wafat loved to laugh, dance and leave a special impact on everyone’s life that got to share it with her. She has indeed left many broken from this awful and tragic news.

“Wafat was the most pure and genuine soul you would meet. She has left two amazing boys who will continue her legacy of being pure souls.”

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the driver not to face criminal charges and describing him as a hero.

Members of Ms Chkaifi’s family have also reportedly praised him for driving his blue Renault at McCaskre in an attempt to save her.

The 26-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder and has been released on bail until late February while the police investigation continues.

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