A mother stabbed to death in broad daylight by her “demon” ex-husband had a restraining order against him, it has emerged.
Witnesses watched in horror as Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, was knifed multiple times in Chippenham Road, Maida Vale, on Monday morning. Her former partner Leon McCaskre, 41, was later mown down by a car in an apparent bid to stop the attack.
Metropolitan Police said the pair, who both died at the scene, were from Maida Vale and had previously been in a relationship.
A spokesperson for the force on Tuesday confirmed a stalking prevention order had been obtained against McCaskre and that a review would now be conducted by the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
A childhood friend of Ms Chkaifi, who is understood to have two teenage sons, told The Independent she also had a panic alarm installed in her home.
The 26-year-old driver of the car involved in the incident was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder but later released on bail until late February while police evaluate the evidence.
At the scene of the deaths, family of Ms Chkaifi hailed the driver as “our hero”.
They said Ms Chkaifi was attacked by her ex-husband, whom she had divorced two years ago after three years of marriage.
“Our family wants justice,” they told reporters. “He was a demon. The driver witnessed it happen and tried to stop him but ended up hitting him.”
Asked if they had a message for the driver, they added: “Thank you so much. Thank you for risking his life. He is our hero.
“Our family are very proud of him and we hope that the Queen can give him a medal or something.”
Deon Nelson-Wright, a childhood friend, said she had been due to meet up with the victim this week and feared something like this might happen.
Speaking through tears as she lay flowers at the scene, she told The Independent: “She was just lovely, very loving. I went to Essendine Primary School with her. She was my best friend.
“I met her when I was six. She used to come into my class with her hijab on and her little brother was in my little brother’s class.
“She ended up getting a flat through the council and we lived together when I was 18 in Edgware Road for two years. I was there when she had her first child. It was my birthday last week, so I was meant to meet her this week.”
Ms Nelson-Wright said the victim had been attacked by her ex-husband, who she claimed was “fresh out of jail” when she met him.
“The police could’ve stopped this, they knew he was crazy,” she claimed. “It was her ex-husband. He would not go away, he would not leave her alone. I knew this was going to happen, I just knew. He is psychotic.
“This could’ve been avoided – they put an alarm in her house. I was at her house in September and it was there then.”
Lolita Aranas was cleaning inside nearby St Peter’s Church when she heard people screaming and looked out of an upstairs window.
“It was very sad,” the church volunteer told The Independent. “A lady was lying down there and there was a man lying down as well, he was bleeding in the head. I could see the blood and black and blue on his legs.
“I came outside after five minutes and the police were already here and ambulance.
“When I saw it, my stomach went; I was just thinking of the families. When I came today I still felt upset.”
A neighbour who has lived in the area for 30 years said she witnessed the stabbing after hearing shouting outside her home.
“I heard people shouting and kids crying and then I just opened the window and saw a guy stabbing a woman in the neck,” she said.
“From upstairs you can see very clearly; I saw the guy stabbing her and then another guy coming to help.
“It was a very bad experience for me because it was the first time I’ve seen anything like that. I couldn’t sleep last night.”
Metropolitan Police said post-mortem examinations are expected to take place on 25 and 27 January.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson, of the force’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.
“We appreciate the support we have received from the public.
“A number of people have already come forward, but we are still asking for anyone who has not to make contact with us.
“Any information could be vital in helping us fully understand why this dreadful incident happened.”
Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or contact via Twitter @MetCC. Please quote reference CAD 1496/24JAN.
To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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