Yasmin Chkaifi: Hero driver who mowed down killer ex-husband says he is being treated ‘like a criminal’

·4 min read

A man who drove into a stalker who was in the process of stabbing his ex-wife to death on the street says he is being treated like a criminal by police.

The driver, named only as Abraham, 26, released a statement through his lawyer after he struck Leon Mccaskie with his car on Monday.

Mccaskie, 40, stabbed mother-of-two, Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, ten times just metres from her home in Maida Vale.

Seeing the attack, Abraham drove his blue Renault Clio into the knifeman. Mccaskie sustained fatal injuries.

It was later revealed that police had issued an arrest warrant for Mccaskie after he breached a stalking order.

The Met confirmed it had referred itself to the police watchdog over the incident.

Police arrested Abraham on suspicion of murder but confirmed that the driver had been fully cooperating with the investigation and was bailed to a date in late February.

In a statement released through his lawyer, Abraham maintained he was a Muslim of “good character” who had never been arrested before in his life.

He said: “It was never my intention to harm him, I just wanted to stop him from hurting anybody further.

Yasmin Chkaifi was studying a Masters (Handout)
Yasmin Chkaifi was studying a Masters (Handout)

“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 remains being arrested on bail under suspicion of murder.

“I have asked my solicitor to contact the Metropolitan Police to request 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.”

Abraham outlined his version of that tragic Monday morning claiming he saw the woman being stabbed repeatedly as he waited in traffic on his way to work.

He said he only wanted to get Mccaskie away from the victim, who was being stabbed with a ten inch knife.

Police working at the scene of the deaths in Maida Vale, west London on Monday (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Police working at the scene of the deaths in Maida Vale, west London on Monday (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

He said: “My instant thought was to protect the woman who had been stabbed and the public who were also being threatened.

“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.”

He claimed he and other passers-by tried to lift the car off Mccaskie and give him first aid but these attempts were “unsuccessful”.

“I am deeply sorry that the man I tried to stop from attacking other people has died,” Abraham said.

“My only regret is that God did not allow me to be present at the scene sooner so that my intervention may have saved the life of the young woman concerned.”

Leon Mccaskie was run over and killed (Collect)
Leon Mccaskie was run over and killed (Collect)

Abraham’s solicitor Tasnime Akunjee told the Standard: “Abraham is a true hero- he has witnessed a horrific event but no support or counselling has been given to him.

“I absolutely agree with the family of the victim and believe he should be honoured for his courage and civic duty.

“The traumatic experience is being further compounded by having to deal with the stress of having a potential murder charge dangling over his and his young families lives.

“It is appalling.”

By Thursday nearly 25,000 people had signed a petition on Change.org entitled “Maida Vale driver is a hero and shouldn’t be charged with murder”.

Childminder Ms Chkaifi, who was studying for a master’s degree, had previously warned friends that she believed McCaskie would kill her.

In texts shared with the media, Ms Chkaifi said her ex-husband had put cameras in her flat and stolen her post and phone.

Ms Chkaifi’s sister told reporters: “The man who killed my sister is a demon. The man who killed him is a hero. He deserves a medal from the Queen.

Ms Chkaifi was stabbed with a ten inch knife  (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Wire)
Ms Chkaifi was stabbed with a ten inch knife (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Wire)

“There is no way he should go through the justice system for what he did. He tried to help her and for my sister and our family he is a hero.

“If anything we want to thank him for what he did. The man responsible is called Leon.

“He was a demon. He was a monster but the driver is a hero. He saw what was happening and tried to stop it. I want to say thank you again.”

The Metropolitan Police said they would not give a statement on a suspect who has not been charged.

A warrant for Mccaskie’s arrest, without bail, was issued on January 4 after he failed to appear in court.

The Met Police, which would not comment on whether Mccaskie was ever arrested over the alleged stalking protection order breach, said the force had referred itself to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have received a referral from the Metropolitan Police regarding their contact with Yasmin Chkaifi prior to her tragic death in Maida Vale, London, on 24 January.

“We are currently assessing the available information, and have requested more, to determine what further action may be required from us.”

The Metropolitan Police has been approached for comment.

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