The driver, known only as Abraham, drove his car into knifeman, Leon McCaskie, 41, as the latter was stabbing his ex-partner Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, to death in Maida Vale, London
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A hero who drove his car into a knifeman in a desperate attempt to stop him killing a mum of two is preparing for an emotional meeting with her family.
The driver, known only as Abraham, had faced a murder charge after running over Leon McCaskie, 41, as he stabbed his ex Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, to death in broad daylight last month.
But it was revealed on Tuesday that he has been released by police without charge and is now being treated as “a vital witness” rather than a suspect.
Yasmin’s family want to thank him personally for trying to save her.
His lawyer Tasnime Akunjee told the Sunday People last night: “The family have been in contact with me and I’ve spoken to Abraham.
“He’s willing and happy to meet them but they’re still in grief at the moment, so it hasn’t happened yet.
“I’m waiting for the family to come back to me again and when they feel ready I’m sure they’ll reach out.”
Abraham, a married electrician with two children under five, was driving his blue Renault Clio to work when he spotted McCaskie – who was subject to a no-stalking order – stabbing Yasmin, who later died, in a frenzied attack at 9am on January 24 .
A number of people tried unsuccessfully to stop McCaskie until Abraham, who is originally from Chechnya, mounted the kerb in desperation and drove his car at the attacker.
Abraham, 26, was then arrested on suspicion of murder. He spent three hours sitting in a police car at the scene in Maida Vale, west London, before being held in a cell and facing a possible life sentence.
But in a public outcry more than 80,000 people signed a petition to stop him being charged and Yasmin’s family also hailed him “a hero”, eventually leading to police dropping the case against him.
Speaking of the attack for the first time, Abraham said yesterday: “Traffic was going very slowly and I saw a man chasing a group of people. I didn’t understand what was happening.
Aaron Chown/PA Wire)
“Then I saw a woman lying on the pavement and the man had run back and was stabbing her.
“I realized the crowd had gathered to try to stop him but he’d chased them away.
“Next I saw the man stab the woman on the ground three times in the chest. My eyes just fixed on the knife, the steel blade.
“I thought, ‘I cannot go away and leave her’. I had to help, to try to save her. I did not have time to consider.
“I thought the safest, quickest option was to push the man away from the woman with my car.
Aaron Chown/PA Wire)
“The momentum continued and I knew the man was under my car. I opened the door and I saw his hand sticking out from under it. That sight stays with me and always will – his hand sticking out.
“Then I was shocked. I took my head in my hands and thought, ‘How has this happened?’
“I’d tried to save a woman’s life and I’d killed a man. I said a prayer, ‘God forgive me for what I have done’.
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“He died and I never wanted to hurt or kill him. I know his family of him would rather have seen him in prison than dead and I feel sorry for them. My intention was only to protect Yasmin.”
Abraham, a devout Muslim, also told the Daily Mail: “Should you see an evil it is your duty to stop it with your hands. If you cannot, then you should stop it by speaking out.
“So I was thinking, ‘How could I face God if I don’t help? It is my duty, my religion.’
“In that moment I knew that I had to act.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.