Maida Vale stabbing 2022: what happened to Leon McCaskre and Yasmin Chkaifi - and driver petition explained

Yasmin Chkaifi was described by her friends as a “good soul” with a “happy disposition”

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a driver not to face criminal charges after he ran down a knife attacker in his car.

Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, was stabbed to death by her ex-husband, Leon McCaskre, 41, in front of horrified onlookers in Chippenham Road, Maida Vale, on 24 January.

A 26-year-old driver then mowed down McCaskre in order to stop the attack - and was later arrested by officers on suspicion of murder.

He’s since been released on bail until late February while the police investigation continues and has been branded a “hero” by campaigners.

Yasmin Chkaifi (image: Met Police)

What is the campaign group calling for?

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for the driver not to face criminal charges and described him as a “hero.”

Members of Ms Chkaifi’s family have also reportedly praised him for driving his blue Renault at McCaskre in an attempt to save her.

Metropolitan Police officers at the scene on Chippenham Road, Maida Vale, west London, where a woman was stabbed to death and a man killed after being hit by a car (image: PA)

Has Ms Chkaifi’s loved ones spoken out?

Family members paid tribute to Ms Chkaifi, who was also known as Wafat, in a statement on Facebook.

They said: “She was full of life, always stayed positive and always saw the best in everyone.

“Wafat loved to laugh, dance and leave a special impact on everyone’s life that got to share it with her. She has indeed left many broken from this awful and tragic news.

“Wafat was the most pure and genuine soul you would meet. She has left two amazing boys who will continue her legacy of being pure souls.”

Ms Chkaifi, who was a qualified childminder, had worked in a school and was studying for a master’s degree.

Her friend Adele-Sarah Richards, described how she supported her after her mother died, said: “She was a good soul. It’s very rare in life you come across a good soul. She always had a happy disposition.

“She was just a lovely person.”

Forensic tents (left) at the scene on Chippenham Road (image: PA)

What has been said about Leon McCaskre?

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Richards said that in April 2020, Ms Chkaifi messaged her to say: “He’s had cameras in my house recording me for months.”

She went on: “He’s stolen my mail, my phone, has access to all my personal data.

“I think he will kill me. I’ve tried everything.”

One of her sons told MailOnline that she had been continually harassed by her ex-husband, who had made her life “hell”.

He said: “It was a very abusive relationship which got worse after the divorce.

“My mother was continually being harassed and intimidated by this man.

“He made her life hell.

“I was always in touch with the police but they did nothing to help her.

“There was even a panic alarm installed in our flat – that’s how scared she was of this man.

“He was a monster.”

Is there more than one investigation underway?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog is now deciding if it will open an investigation into the contact between Ms Chkaifi and officers before she died.

A spokeswoman 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 January 24.

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

What have the Met Police said?

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.”

A post-mortem examination took place on 25 January while the other begins today (27 January).

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