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Man 'confessed' to Abigail attack

Key points

• Surrey police say man made suicide note confession to Abigail stabbing

• Richard Cazaly, 23, had history of heavy drug use

• Cazaly committed suicide in Inverness-shire five days after stabbing

Key quote

"We are very confident that this case is finished. This case is solved. The CPS's view matches ours that there is more than enough evidence to prosecute Richard Cazaly if he were alive today" - Detective Superintendent Adrian Harper

Story in full THE prime suspect for the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls was a heavy user of a cocktail of drugs who "confessed" to the attack in his suicide note, detectives revealed yesterday.

Describing the evidence against Richard Cazaly as "compelling", Surrey detectives revealed that he regularly binged on alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, and said his drug habit was the most likely trigger for the stabbing, which left Mrs Witchalls partly paralysed.

Cazaly, 23, phoned sex chatlines on the morning of the stabbing of the mother of two and told his girlfriend that he had drunk a bottle of vodka in the woods close to where the attack happened.

Mrs Witchalls was attacked as she pushed her son Joseph in a buggy along a country lane in Little Bookham seven months ago.

Her family revealed that she has been awarded an interim payment of 250,000 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

After the attack, on 20 April, Cazaly told his girlfriend, Vanessa MacKenzie: "I know I didn't do it, but maybe there's a monster inside of me. How do you know there isn't a monster inside of me?"

He committed suicide with a drug overdose in Inverness-shire five days after the stabbing.

In a signed suicide note to his girlfriend, Cazaly wrote: "To my dearest Nessa, I am so, so sorry! I guess there is 2 of me. I'm very scared but it'll all be over soon! And everyone will be better off. I don't remember what happened but I'm scared I did it. You deserve better. Your mum will look after you. Tell her I'm so sorry for all of this. All my love always & 4ever."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) yesterday announced that it had found "sufficient evidence" for Cazaly to be prosecuted were he still alive. Police said that allowed them to close the case.

Detective Superintendent Adrian Harper said: "We are very confident that this case is finished.

"This case is solved. The CPS's view matches ours that there is more than enough evidence to prosecute Richard Cazaly if he were alive today."

Mr Harper said the case against Cazaly included the fact his appearance - including distinctive circular earrings - closely resembled Mrs Witchalls' description of her attacker.

Cazaly's car also matched a description given by Mrs Witchalls, who gave birth to her second son, Dominic, 12 days ago. Mr Harper said Cazaly had repeatedly lied about being in the woods near the scene of the attack on the day of the crime.

Police also revealed that six weeks after the attack, a tracker dog picked up Cazaly's scent near the crime scene and followed it to an area where tyre tracks matching those of his car were found.

A drifter with a love of hunting and travel, Cazaly had a history of drug use dating back at least four years.

Police found evidence that as early as 2001 he was addicted to ketamine and by July 2003 he was admitting drinking 50 units of alcohol a week.

There was no trace of ketamine in his body but tests did reveal a cocktail of other drugs.

Ms MacKenzie later told police both she and Cazaly were regular cannabis users, smoking "a couple of joints a day".

In a statement read out by police, Mrs Witchalls and her family welcomed the end of the inquiry and offered their prayers to Cazaly's family.

The statement said: "Abigail is now at home with her family, including her new son Dominic. She has carers to help her at home and is continuing to receive regular physiotherapy and occupational therapy."

Mrs Witchalls is reportedly set to receive 500,000 compensation - the maximum possible - from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. It will cover loss of earnings and contribute to the round-the-clock care she needs.

 
 
 

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