Maida Vale driver's lawyer says client is a 'hero who put himself in harms way' by running down knifeman

Maida Vale driver's lawyer says client is a 'hero who put himself in harms way' by running down knifeman
maida vale lawyer DIGITAL
Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 28/01/2022

- 09:21

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:59

Lawyer Mohamed Akunjee, who has acted for Shamima Begum’s family, exclusively told GB News that the driver was 'acting fully in accordance with the law'.

The lawyer of a driver who mowed down a knifeman in his car in Maida Vale has spoken in defence of the motorist on GB News.

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster on Breakfast, Lawyer Mohammed Akunjee described the motorist, who is only known as “Abraham”, as a "hero".

Akunjee, who has acted for Shamima Begum’s family, told GB News that Abraham was "acting fulling in accordance with the law" and that the driver decided to intervene to stop the attacker "in self-defence for others".

This comes after the driver has pleaded with the Metropolitan Police to de-arrest him.

The motorist said it was “never my intention to harm” Leon McCaskre and that he “just wanted to stop him from hurting anybody further”, during the incident in west London on Monday.

Yasmin Chkaifi died after McCaskre attacked her in front of horrified onlookers in Chippenham Road, Maida Hill.

McCaskre died after being struck by Abraham’s blue Renault Clio.

Mohammed Akunjee explained the driver's actions to GB News: "He was driving to work on a Monday morning, whilst he was in some traffic he saw an attacker on the pavement attacking a young woman with a knife.

"He saw him stab the lady a number of times and then turn to wield the knife in the direction of other passersby who has tried to intervene. When he had an opportunity, and the traffic had moved out of his way, he saw the opportunity to try and use his vehicle to try and save the woman and the other passersby from further attack.

"He took the opportunity to try and put his vehicle between the attacker and others and unfortunately, he ended up running over the attacker."

Eamonn Holmes asked the lawyer if he thought that made his client a hero, or a murderer.

Mohammed Akunjee responded: "Well, he was a person acting fully in accordance with the law which was in self-defence for another, in fact, others. We say that's quite squarely and quite obviously a person who is a hero who put himself in harms way of someone who was effecting a savage attack on people. He put himself between that person and innocent people."

The driver was arrested on suspicion of murder and has been released on bail until late February while the police investigation continues.

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the driver not to face criminal charges and have described him as a hero.

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

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “We are investigating the deaths of two people in this incident. Two families are bereaved and looking for answers. It is therefore essential that the investigation proceeds in an objective and professional manner.

“As with all investigations into violent deaths, we will gather all the available evidence and this can take time.

“Only when we are satisfied that we have all the facts can we fully understand the circumstances that led to the deaths and consider the most appropriate course of action.”

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