Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, suffered multiple stab wounds in Maida Vale, London, before the knifeman – named as former partner Leon McCaskre, 43 – was then hit and killed by a car
The driver who ran over and killed a knifeman stabbing a woman to death in the street has broken his silence – saying he never meant to hurt anyone.
Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, suffered multiple stab wounds before the knifeman – named as former partner Leon McCaskre, 43 – was then hit by a car in Maida Vale, London.
The 26-year-old driver of the car, who remained at the scene and was arrested on suspicion of murder, has been bailed to return to a police station on a date in late February.
Today, a press statement has been released on behalf of the driver, from Waterfords Law firm, who broke his silence over the incident.
He said he never meant to hurt the attacker and drove his vehicle towards him to try and get him away from the woman.
More than 19,000 people have signed a petition called “Maida Vale driver is a hero and shouldn’t be charged with murder”.
The letter tweeted by the driver’s lawyers says: “My name is Abraham, I am a Muslim man, my full name is known to my solicitors and to the Metropolitan Police.
“I can confirm that I am the person identified as the driver of the blue Renault Clio relating to those events.”
He said he has asked his solicitor to convey the following public statement on my behalf.
The statement reads: “I am a person of good character. I have never been arrested before in my life.
“This Monday past I was making my way to work and was waiting in traffic on Chippenham Road in West London at approximately 9am.
“I witnessed a man repeatedly stabbing a defenceless woman on the pavement a short distance in front of my car. Members of the public were attempting to intervene.
“The attacker was wielding a knife and threatening those brave citizens too.
“My instant thought was to protect the woman who had been stabbed and the public who were also being threatened.
“The vehicles ahead of me moved off which gave me the opportunity to intervene. I drove my vehicle towards the attacker in order to get him away from the woman he was attacking. I did not intend to harm the attacker, I only intended to protect those being attacked.
“My vehicle struck the attacker and he was taken under my car causing it to stall, I could not reverse my car to free him.
“I and other passers-by attempted to lift the car away from her attacker so we could prove the man with first aid.
“Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in this. I have since learnt that both the young lad and her attacker have died.”
The statement went on to say how deeply sorry he is and that it was not his intention to harm the man, but only to stop him from hurting others.
It continued: “I understand that the police are doing their job and that my being arrested is not unusual.
“However, I do not see why I as the person who tried to assist in the defence of other human beings remain arrested and on bail under suspicion of murder.
“I have asked my solicitor to contact the metropolitan police to request that they consider de-arresting me and begin treating me as a witness to a tragic event rather than as a criminal as they currently are.”
He described himself as a family man in the letter dated January 26.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “We are gaining a clearer idea of what happened at the scene thanks to information supplied by the public and by reviewing CCTV.
“Firstly, it is apparent that members of the public bravely tried to intervene to stop the attack and their actions were very courageous.
“We are speaking to the families of those concerned and doing all we can to support them at this terrible time.
“We can now confirm that both the deceased were previously known to each other and there are no outstanding suspects.
“A man, who was the driver of a car, has been arrested and bailed for a very serious offence and we must carry out a full investigation, looking at all the circumstances.
“I would ask the media not to speculate on the causes of the deaths while we are awaiting the outcome of two post-mortems, it is important that we deal with facts.
“Lastly, we appreciate the support we have received from the public.
“A number of people have already come forward, but we are still asking for anyone who has not to make contact with us.
“Any information could be vital in helping us fully understand why this dreadful incident happened.”