UK

Clapham alkali attack witness: It’s sad that ‘justice isn’t coming’ to suspect

Sophie Todd witnessed the attack while on a run in south London and said she would have liked to see suspect Abdul Ezedi ‘go to court’.

Abdul Ezedi was from the Newcastle area
CCTV image of Abdul Ezedi Abdul Ezedi was from the Newcastle area (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A witness of the Clapham alkali attack said it is “sad” that “justice isn’t coming” to alleged attacker Abdul Ezedi after his suspected body was found in the River Thames.

The Metropolitan Police announced on Tuesday that they believe his body had been recovered after a major search.

Sophie Todd, 24, witnessed the attack while on a run in south-west London and said she would have liked to “see him go to court”.

She told the PA news agency: “Just for me, I know that I would want to have my opportunity in court if I had been them.

“It’s hard to walk in their (the victims’) shoes, but I would have liked to see him go to court. And there’s so many witnesses that justice would have been served in my eyes hopefully.

“I just think it’s sad that administrative justice isn’t coming to him.”

Ms Todd, who lives in south-west London, said it was “harrowing” to walk down the street in Clapham where the attack occurred on January 31.

She said it was “horrific to witness”, adding that she had found it difficult to sleep since the attack.

Ms Todd, who works in recruitment, said: “He picked out what was quite clearly a child and threw them up and down. It was like how you’d throw a medicine ball in the gym with that much force and energy.

“It was almost as if it was a rag doll – you couldn’t have thought that was a real human.”

She said of the aftermath of the attack: “You didn’t know what was going on. It was very traumatic and the kids and the mother were screaming. It was horrific.”

Ms Todd said that the police were “really quick off the mark” to speak to her as a witness.

Police believe Ezedi, who was from the Newcastle area, threw a burning chemical over his former girlfriend in the attack on her and her young children, aged eight and three.

He then fled the scene, and initially used his bank card to travel on the Tube before walking a route that broadly hugged the banks of the River Thames in the following hours.

Abdul Ezedi's last-known movements (PA Graphics/Press Association Images)

During a massive manhunt investigators had to piece together CCTV footage to establish that he had jumped in the Thames.

At around 4pm on Monday the crew of a passing boat reported they had seen a body in the water near Tower Bridge at Tower Pier.

The body was recovered by the Metropolitan Police’s Marine Policing Unit, with support from London Fire Brigade, and has been viewed by detectives working on the investigation.

Friends who are fundraising for the family said the woman, who is now no longer under sedation in hospital, is desperate to be reunited with her two daughters.

They said in a statement given to PA: “Mum’s still in critical care and desperate to be reunited with her girls.

“We know mum’s lost her sight in one eye, and we’re praying that it returns fully in the other.

“Our friend is a phenomenal mum and the strongest, most independent person we know.

“She’s already making so much progress and is determined to get out of hospital as quickly as possible.”

More than £44,000 has been raised so far for the woman and her two children in the wake of the attack last month.