Abdul Ezedi has been on the run since 12 people – including a mum, 31, and her daughters aged eight and three – were injured in an attack involving a corrosive alkali on Wednesday.
A chemical attack suspect reportedly granted asylum after becoming a Christian has not officially converted, church leaders say.
There is no record that wanted man Abdul Ezedi switched religions, according to his local diocese. The Afghan national has been on the run since 12 people – including a mum, 31, and her daughters aged eight and three – were injured in an attack involving a corrosive alkali on Wednesday.
It had been reported that Ezedi, who arrived in the UK in 2016, gained asylum in 2020 after a priest confirmed he had converted to Christianity and was “wholly committed” to the religion.
But yesterday the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, where Ezedi lives, said it had found no trace of the referee.
A spokesman said: “After checking local parish records and central records and after consulting with clergy we have no indication that Abdul Ezedi was received into the Catholic faith in this diocese or that a Catholic priest of this diocese gave him a reference.”
They said the suspect had visited the Justice and Peace Refugee Project at the St Vincent’s centre in Newcastle – to claim free food and toothpaste handouts.
Police hunting Ezedi, 35, who was granted asylum on his third attempt after being convicted of sex offences in 2018, yesterday searched five premises in Newcastle and East London.
London’s Met Police said empty containers marked with corrosive warnings were being tested to see if they were linked to the attack in Clapham, South London.
And it was confirmed Ezedi was in a relationship with the woman injured. She and her daughters remain in hospital, with the mum’s injuries said to be “life-changing”.
One of Ezedi’s relatives last night urged him to turn himself in, telling Sky News they “worried” for his welfare.