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Police release new images from property searches in hunt for Clapham chemical attack suspect

Police release new images from property searches in hunt for Clapham chemical attack suspect

The Metropolitan Police released new photos and footage from raids they have carried out in the manhunt for the Clapham chemical attack suspect.

Photos show empty containers with corrosive warning labels on them found at an address in Newcastle – it is one of three properties officers have searched while looking for Abdul Ezedi.

Forensic tests are being carried out to check if they held the substance used during the attack.

In bodycam footage, officers can be seen entering the property and asking if anyone is home before looking around the lounge and kitchen.

Saturday marked the third day of the nationwide manhunt for the 35-year-old wanted in connection with Wednesday night's "targeted" attack on a woman and her two daughters with an alkaline substance in Clapham.

The Met renewed its appeal for help to find Afghan-born Ezedi and repeated warnings for the public not to approach him.

Officers also thanked the public for the dozens of calls they have received about the case, with “possible sightings”.

Forensic tests are being carried out to check these containers held the substance used in the attack (Metropolitan Police)
Forensic tests are being carried out to check these containers held the substance used in the attack (Metropolitan Police)

Ezedi was last seen at London’s King’s Cross station before boarding a southbound Victoria Line tube at 9pm on Wednesday.

He sustained “significant injuries to the right side of his face”, which an unnamed relative told Sky News they were worried about.

The family member said they are planning to travel from London to Newcastle, where Ezedi is believed to have been living, to try and find him.

They said: "His injury is very bad and he needs medical attention. I will bring him in by myself if I have to."

The same relative claimed Ezedi was in a relationship with the 31-year-old victim, who is said to be “very poorly” in hospital, where her two daughters are as well – although reportedly in a less severe condition.

Police said the woman was known to Ezedi but they have not confirmed the nature of their relationship.

The manhunt was launched after Ezedi left Newcastle in the "very, very early hours" of Wednesday and travelled south to the capital and was in the Tooting area by around 6.30am, police say.

There was a further sighting of his vehicle at about 4.30pm in Croydon and by about 7pm he was in Streatham.

Ezedi also allegedly threw the younger child to the ground during the attack at 7.25pm, before attempting to drive away from the scene, crashing into a stationary vehicle and fleeing on foot.

Minutes later he boarded a tube at Clapham South underground station, and by 8pm he was at King's Cross tube station.

On Friday, it emerged that Ezedi was convicted of a sexual offence in 2018 and given a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he was sentenced on January 9 of that year after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure.

Ezedi was put on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Abdul Ezedi is wanted by the police (Met Police)
Abdul Ezedi is wanted by the police (Met Police)

He was granted asylum after two failed attempts, having reportedly travelled to the UK on a lorry in 2016, it is believed.

Ezedi was allowed to stay in the country after a priest confirmed he had converted to Christianity and was "wholly committed" to his new religion, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

An asylum seeker can claim asylum in the UK on the basis of religious persecution in their native country.

It is not yet known which Christian denomination the person who reportedly assisted Ezedi was from.

The Church of England said it is currently not aware of any links to its churches, with a spokesperson adding that it is "the role of the Home Office, and not the Church, to vet asylum seekers and judge the merits of their individual cases".

Home Secretary James Cleverly, who described the attack as "appalling", said: "My thoughts are with them (the victims) and the brave members of the public and police who intervened.

"I urge the public to support the Metropolitan Police's appeal and to come forward if they have any information."