How the Clapham alkali attack and manhunt for suspect Abdul Ezedi unfolded

Police “strongly believe” they have recovered the body of alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi from the River 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 and has been viewed by detectives working on the investigation.

Here is a timeline of how events have unfolded so far:

– 00.15am

Ezedi’s vehicle is seen in Newcastle, where he had been living.

– 6.30am

His vehicle is seen travelling into Tooting, south London.

– 4.30pm

A further sighting of his car is confirmed in Croydon.

– 7pm

He is seen driving in Streatham.

– 7.25pm

The attack takes place in Lessar Avenue on a 31-year-old woman, who was with her daughters, aged three and eight.

Ezedi was previously in a relationship with the woman, but he is not the father of the children.

Ezedi allegedly throws the younger child to the ground and makes off in his car, which crashes into a stationary vehicle nearby.

He then runs off.

Abdul Ezedi’s last-known movements
(PA Graphics)

– 7.33pm

Ezedi boards a train at Clapham South Tube station.

– 7.59pm

He leaves that train at King’s Cross Tube station.

– 8.42pm

He is seen on CCTV leaving Tesco at 21 Caledonian Road.

He exits and turns right.

He has significant injuries and is believed to have bought a bottle of water.

Clapham Common incident
Ezedi was seen in a Tesco Express shop (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Ezedi enters King’s Cross Tube station and boards a Victoria Line Tube southbound.


Ezedi arrives at Victoria Station and then boards a District Line Tube eastbound at 9.16pm.

– 9.33pm

He is seen leaving Tower Hill Underground Station.

– 9.47pm

Ezedi is seen on Allhallows Lane in the City of London.

He travels through a passage to Cousin Lane and then turns right, walking towards Upper Thames Street.

– 9.51pm

He turns left onto Upper Thames Street and travels along the street at 9.54pm.

– 9.59pm

Clapham Common incident
An empty container with corrosive warnings on the label (Met Police)

– 10.04pm

He passes the Unilever building and heads towards Victoria Embankment.

– 10.06pm

Ezedi passes Carmelite House, at the junction with Carmelite Street, heading towards Temple.

– 10.28pm

He passes Westminster Pier, goes up the steps and continues towards Westminster.

– 10.33pm

Ezedi is seen walking south on Westminster bridge.

– 10.36pm

He walks across Westminster Bridge, heading down the steps on the London Eye side towards Lambeth.

– 10.42pm

Ezedi was seen walking west on south Thames Path towards Lambeth Bridge.

– 10.55pm

He travels along the Albert Embankment approaching Vauxhall Bridge.

– 11.00pm

Ezedi crosses Vauxhall Bridge towards stairs on the Palace of Westminster side of the river.

– 11.03pm

He crosses Vauxhall Bridge Road, into Grosvenor Road.

– 11.10pm

Ezedi walks westbound past the Shell petrol station.

– 11.19pm

He passes the Thames Water Building, Grosvenor Road, heading towards Chelsea Bridge.

– 11.25pm

He crosses over Chelsea Bridge and enters Battersea Park.

– 11.27pm

He crosses back over Chelsea Bridge towards the north side.

This is the last recorded sighting of him.

– Thursday February 1

– About 9.30am

Scotland Yard says the 31-year-old woman and three-year-old girl have potentially life-changing injuries.

– 1.35pm

Ezedi’s identity is disclosed and people are warned to stay away from him.

The Met said they are working with Northumbria Police as the wanted man may be trying to return to the North East.

Clapham Common incident
The public have been warned to stay away from Ezedi (Metropolitan Police/PA)

There was a heightened police presence on Caledonian Road, as unmarked cars with blue lights could be seen and police vehicles drove around the area.

– 6pm

The image of Ezedi buying a bottle of water is released.

– Overnight Thursday to Friday

Police carry out five search warrants, at two addresses in east London and three in Newcastle.

– Friday February 2

– 3.36pm

Police hold a press conference, giving a timeline of Ezedi’s movements, an update on the condition of the mother and her daughters and issuing new images of Ezedi at King’s Cross underground station.

Commander Jon Savell makes a direct appeal to Ezedi to hand himself into police, so he can get the urgent medical treatment he needs.

Clapham Common incident
Police Commander Jon Savell giving an update to the media (PA Video)

– 4.55pm

Police release footage of empty containers with corrosive warnings found in a raid on an address in Newcastle.

Tests are continuing to find out if the substance is the one used in the Clapham attack.

They also say they have received dozens of calls about the manhunt, including possible sightings, as they renewed their appeal for the public’s help catching him.

– Sunday February 4

– 12.20pm

Police say a reward of up to £20,000 is on offer to anyone who can provide information leading to Ezedi’s arrest.

Detectives also confirm analysis of the substance shows it is a “very strong concentrated corrosive substance”, either liquid sodium hydroxide or liquid sodium carbonate.

The Met also releases CCTV video footage of Ezedi in the Tesco on Caledonian Road, where he is seen buying what appears to be water in the self-service checkout before leaving the shop.

– Monday February 5

Officers arrest a 22-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender.

He is later released on bail.

Police say the mother may lose sight in her right eye.

At that time, the most recent sighting of Ezedi was at about 9.50pm on Wednesday near Southwark Bridge, although there is no suggestion he jumped into the Thames.

They tracked his movements around the Tube network using his bank card, but it has not been used since Wednesday.

Wednesday February 7

Police reveal that Ezedi had been previously in a relationship with the victim.

Investigators say the breakdown of the relationship may have been a motive for the alleged attack.

The woman remains sedated in hospital, and is too ill to speak to police.

Thursday February 8

Armed police executed two raids at addresses in Newcastle in the early hours of Thursday, including one at Ezedi’s place of work.

No arrests have been made following the raids, which were a joint operation between the Met and Northumbria Police.

The force said on Thursday that officers handed out 250 leaflets at the scene of the attack on Wednesday evening, visited local Afghan restaurants and spoke to members of the local residents’ association.

Officers traced Ezedi’s movements for another 30 minutes.

They said, from Grosvenor Road he walked westbound past the Shell petrol station, passed the Thames Water Building, crossed over Chelsea Bridge, entered Battersea Park then crossed back over Chelsea Bridge towards the north side.

The most recent sighting of Ezedi was at about 11.27pm on January 31.

An image was released of Ezedi crossing Chelsea Bridge before entering Battersea Park.

Friday February 9

Metropolitan Police detectives gave a media briefing where they updated that they believed Ezedi went into the River Thames at Chelsea Bridge, some four hours after the alkaline attack on Wednesday January 31.

This was based on examination of CCTV footage which had tracked Ezedi to the location and then saw him disappear from view.

Weekend of February 10/11

Officers from the Marine Policing Unit carried out a number of low tide searches in the area surrounding Chelsea Bridge over the weekend of 10/11 February.

They then continued routine searches as part of their daily work.

Monday February 19

At around 4pm 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 and was viewed by detectives working on the investigation.

Tuesday February 20

The Metropolitan Police announced that they “strongly believe” they have recovered the body of alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi from the River Thames.

Scotland Yard said this was based on the “distinctive clothing” he was wearing at the time of the attack and the “property found on his body”.

Police added that the condition of the 31-year-old woman injured in the alkali attack has “improved” and she remains in hospital in a stable condition.

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