Suicide drifter 'was Abigail attacker'

Last updated at 14:56 05 August 2005

Detectives investigating the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls have completed a dossier of evidence on prime suspect Richard Cazaly, it emerged today.

Surrey Police passed a file containing details of their lengthy investigation into the attack to the Crown Prosecution Service late yesterday.

Abigail was pushing her toddler son Joseph in a buggy along a quiet country lane in the village of Little Bookham, Surrey, on April 20 when she was stabbed in the back of the neck.

Although left severely paralysed Abigail has made a marked improvement and has been able to speak to police, reliving her ordeal in detail.

Richard Cazaly, 23, has been treated as a suspect in the case by Surrey Police ever since his apparent suicide from an overdose in Scotland just days after the attack.

Cazaly, from Fleet, Hampshire, had been living in a house on Water Lane, Little Bookham, close to where Abigail was attacked, and had similarities to the description given by Abigail.

Although Abigail failed to pick out Cazaly in a photo identity parade from her hospital bed, Surrey Police believe that they have evidence linking Cazaly to the attack.

Reports of tyre tracks

The force has not disclosed the details of the evidence which they believe places Cazaly at the scene of the attack at the time.

But it is thought that specialist tracking dogs, which can detect scents several weeks or even months old may have provided crucial information.

The police have said that the dogs did not find any physical evidence such as the knife during their search six weeks after the attack, but have not publicly ruled out the possibility that his scent was found.

It was also reported in June that tyre tracks

from Cazaly's car had been found at the spot on Water Lane where Abigail first saw her attacker as he drove past before chasing her down a path.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: "A file of evidence relating to the attempted murder of Abigail Witchalls was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for their advice on Tuesday August 2.

"Surrey Police cannot comment on the contents of the file while it is being considered by the

Crown Prosecution Service.

"As soon as the Crown Prosecution Service has informed us of its advice we will make the advice public."

She added: "The Crown Prosecution Service will need time to consider this as it has been a lengthy investigation."

It is not known how long the CPS will spend going over the file which includes details of the entire investigation including those elements which could count against the conclusion that Cazaly was the attacker such as the fact that Abigail failed to pick him out in the ID parade.

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