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Suspect sought after Clapham alkali attack

02 February 2024

ALAMY

Police wearing protective clothing at the scene of the alkali attack on Lessar Avenue, Clapham, in south-west London

Police wearing protective clothing at the scene of the alkali attack on Lessar Avenue, Clapham, in south-west London

THE suspect in an alkali attack in Clapham, in south-west London, had claimed to have converted to Christianity before his asylum claim was approved, it was reported on Thursday.

In a report published on Thursday evening, The Daily Telegraph said that Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, an Afghan national, had twice been denied asylum, before succeeding after “a priest backed up his claim that he had converted to Christianity”.

Mr Ezedi is suspected of carrying out an attack on a woman and two children in Clapham, on Wednesday evening, using a corrosive substance to inflict injuries that, in the case of the mother, the Metropolitan Police describe as “life-changing”.

Four members of the public were injured as they tried to help at the scene of the incident, along with five police officers.

A Church House spokesperson said on Friday: “This is clearly a shocking and distressing incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by it.

“It is the role of the Home Office, and not the Church, to vet asylum-seekers and judge the merits of their individual cases.”

Details of Mr Ezedi’s connection with Christianity remain sparse, and it is unknown whether the priest was a C of E one.

Several churches in the area where the suspect was believed to be living in Newcastle have been contacted. None had any knowledge of Mr Ezedi’s ever attending or otherwise being involved with the church.

His whereabouts are currently unknown. On Friday, Cmdr Jon Savell, who is leading the investigation, called on him to give himself up. The police released an image of Mr Ezedi, sighted at 21 Caledonian Road, London N1, at 8.48 p.m. on Wednesday. It shows what appears to be significant injuries to the right side of his face. Members of the public were warned not to approach him.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that Mr Ezedi was convicted of a sexual assault and indecent exposure in 2018, and received a suspended sentence on both counts.

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