Abigail to provide police with E-fit of attacker

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The Independent Online

Police plan to ask Abigail Witchalls today to help them draw up an E-fit of the man who stabbed her in the neck, leaving her paralysed.

Police plan to ask Abigail Witchalls today to help them draw up an E-fit of the man who stabbed her in the neck, leaving her paralysed.

The process is likely to take several days because the 26-year-old can only communicate by mouthing simple words and blinking.

She was attacked and left for dead last Wednesday afternoon as she took her 21-month-old son, Joseph, home from nursery along a secluded lane in Little Bookham, Surrey.

The police have compiled a list of suspects from more than 300 calls from the public. Criminal profilers are helping narrow down the most likely suspects.

The part-time teacher managed to give police details of the attack during 12 hours of interviews spread over two days. She revealed that her assailant held a knife to Joseph's throat before pulling her head down and stabbing her in the back of the neck. The three-inch deep wound has left her paralysed from the neck down and unable to speak.

Although she wanted officers to continue the interview at her bedside in St George's Hospital in Tooting, south London, police said they were giving her a break as they reviewed the information gathered.

Mrs Witchalls described the man as aged 20 to 35, with short, dark, wavy or scruffy hair, between 5ft 10in and 6ft 4in tall, with a long, thin face and prominent cheekbones. He was wearing looped silver earrings, had a deep voice with a cockney or southern accent, and may have been under the influence of drink or drugs. Officers are considering if and how they might speak to Joseph, who has started to "act out" some of the attack.

It emerged at the weekend that Mrs Witchalls was pregnant when she was attacked, although it has not been revealed whether the unborn child has survived.

Her condition is improving but her father Martin Hollins has said that she faces long-term disability.