Thousands sign petition in support of Maida Vale driver

Thousands of people have signed a petition in support of a driver arrested on suspicion of murder after allegedly intervening in a fatal street attack in Maida Vale, West London.

Jan 26, 2022
By Tony Thompson
Yasmin Chkaifi

The 26-year-old was taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) after driving into Leon McCaskre, 41, as he stabbed his ex-partner Yasmin Chkaifi to death in the street on Monday morning.

The MPS has confirmed that several members of the public had attempted to stop McCaskre before the driver ran into him. It is understood the driver struck both McCaskre and his victim but while Ms Chkaifi was able to be pulled free to receive medical aid, McCaskre was left trapped under the vehicle.

Following his arrest, the driver has been released on bail until late February while the police investigation continues. On Wednesday nearly 5,000 people had signed a petition on Change.org entitled: “Maida Vale driver is a hero and shouldn’t be charged with murder”.

Relatives of Ms Chkaifi, who had two sons, have reportedly also praised the action of the driver and said the relationship between her and McCaskre had been abusive.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson, of the MPS’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. It is important that we deal with facts.”

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