Dog walker claims Daniel Khalife ‘told her he’d just left the Army’ and she noticed his injured ear was poorly stitched with fishing line during ‘strange’ park bench chat as he was on the run
- Gabriella Lewis claims she spoke to Khalife the day before he was arrested
A dog walker has reportedly claimed that terror suspect Daniel Khalife told her he had ‘just left the Army’ when they shared a ‘strange’ chat on a park bench.
Gabriella Lewis allegedly spoke to Khalife while he was on the run and claims she noticed that his injured ear was poorly stitched with fishing line, The Sun reported.
Ms Lewis said the ex-soldier began their conversation by saying ‘I’ve just got out of the Army’, which she found ‘strange’. She also said she thought he might be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder ‘so I was trying to be nice to him’.
Khalife, 21, was arrested by counter-terror police officers on Saturday following a 75-hour manhunt sparked after he broke out of HMP Wandsworth last Wednesday. He escaped by clinging to the bottom of a food delivery lorry.
He is due to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court today charged with escaping from custody at HMP Wandsworth.
A dog walker has reportedly claimed that terror suspect Daniel Khalife (pictured) told her he had ‘just left the Army’ when they shared a ‘strange’ chat on a park bench
Gabriella Lewis allegedly spoke to Khalife while he was on the run and claims she noticed that his injured ear was poorly stitched with fishing line. Khalife is pictured during his arrest in west London on Saturday
Ms Lewis said ex-soldier Daniel Khalife (pictured) began their conversation by saying ‘I’ve just got out of the Army’, which she found ‘strange’. She also said she thought he might be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder ‘so I was trying to be nice to him’
Ms Lewis claims she and Khalife sat next to each other on a bench at Chiswick House and Gardens in west London on Friday.
She said that although he had been on the run for two days, he ‘didn’t look dirty at all’ but said it appeared that his ‘ear looked like it had a bit missing or it had split’.
‘It had stitches in it but not like the kind you get from a doctor. It looked like he had used a blue fishing line,’ she told The Sun.
She claims Khalife asked her for the time, which she found ‘suspicious’, and feared that if she had taken her phone out of her bag he would try to steal it.
‘It felt like he didn’t want to leave the bench. So I told him it was around 9.15am and that I had to go. It was such a surreal incident,’ she added.
The terror suspect’s four days on the run ended just hours later – at 10.41am on Saturday – when an undercover officer pulled him from a bike as he cycled along a canal towpath
The 21-year-old former soldier will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow after he broke out of HMP Wandsworth (pictured) last Wednesday
Khalife was arrested on a canal towpath in west London at 10.41am on Saturday after being pulled off a bike by a plainclothes counter-terrorism officer.
His capture followed a mass land and air search over four days after he went missing from the prison on Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Police said a member of the public reported seeing a man matching Khalife’s description walking away from a Bidfood van that had stopped near the south entrance to Wandsworth Roundabout on Wednesday morning.
Officers carried out a search in the Richmond area and although Khalife was not found there, the force received a number of calls from the public with sightings of the suspect nearby.
Police checked gardens, stopped and inspected cars and asked residents for their IDs throughout Saturday morning.
Khalife was eventually found on a canal towpath in Northolt, west London, around eight miles from where he was last seen by a member of the public.
Daniel Abed Khalife went missing from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday. He is pictured during a military exercise
He was on remand at HMP Wandsworth after being charged with terror offences in January.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk yesterday said around 40 inmates of HMP Wandsworth have been moved out of the Category B jail.
He revealed that a preliminary investigation into London’s Victorian prison had found that the relevant procedures and security staff were in place.
But he added that dozens of individuals on remand have been moved to different sites ‘out of an abundance of caution’ amid questions over why a former soldier accused of a terror offence was not in the highest security prison.
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