10/06/2005

New witness in Abigail stabbing case

Police have confirmed that a new witness has come forward in the investigation into the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls.

The development emerged after Abigail, who is still being treated in hospital following the attack in April, had failed to pick out suspect Richard Cazaly in a photo identity parade.

Surrey police showed Abigail the photographs yesterday afternoon. Police said that the 26-year-old was “clearly disappointed” at being unable to identify her attacker. However, Detective Superintendent Adrian Harper, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have reassured her how difficult it is to identify an offender during a formal identification process.”

Abigail was attacked in Little Bookham, Surrey, on April 20 as she returned from a mothers and toddlers meeting with her 21-month-old son Joseph. She was stabbed in the neck, after her attacker first held a knife to Joseph’s throat. She was left paralysed after the attack and, although she had been regaining some sensation in her body in recent weeks.

Doctors confirmed today that Abigail had now left intensive care and was able to breathe without the aid of a ventilator. However, they said that it would be "some months" before they would know if she would make a full recovery from her injuries.

Richard Cazaly is one of the main suspects in the case. The 23-year-old left Little Bookham just days after the attack on Abigail and went to Scotland, where he later died of an apparent overdose.

Another man, a 25-year-old from Surrey, has also been questioned in connection with Abigail’s stabbing.

However, police said that, so far, no forensic evidence has been discovered to link either man with the attack.

Det Supt Harper said that the new witness would participate in a similar identification process to the one held with Abigail, involving the photograph of Mr Cazaly.

Det Supt Harper said that police would be collating all the evidence relating to Mr Cazaly in the case and would be submitting it to the Crown Prosecution Service for their advice.

(KMcA/SP)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 April 2005
Police granted more time to question Abigail suspect
Surrey police have been granted more time to question a 25-year-old man in connection with the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls last week. The man was arrested on Wednesday evening in Croydon, south London and is being held in custody at Staines police station. Police will now be able to question him until Saturday morning.
28 April 2005
Police arrest man in Abigail case
A 25-year-old Surrey man has been arrested in connection with the attack of Abigail Witchalls, police have confirmed. Surrey police confirmed that the man had been arrested last night, but said that the arrest was “only one line of inquiry” and said that police were still following up other information.
04 May 2005
Abigail transferred to spinal injuries unit
Abigail Witchalls, the young mother who was stabbed in the neck in a horrific attack two weeks ago, has been transferred to a specialist spinal injuries unit. The 26-year-old had been in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London since the attack, which left her paralysed.
19 May 2005
Re-enactment provides new leads in Abigail stabbing
Surrey police have said they have received some significant information regarding the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls. A reconstruction of the attack, which happened in Little Bookham, Surrey, last month, appeared on BBC 1’s ‘Crimewatch’ show last night.
26 April 2005
Abigail’s attacker held knife to son’s throat
The man who stabbed young mother Abigail Witchalls in the neck first held a knife to the throat of her 21-month-old son Joseph, police said. Mrs Witchalls, who is still in St Georges Hospital in south London, following the attack in Little Bookham, Surrey, last Wednesday, gave her statement to the police yesterday.