Police ‘failed to act on warning’ over stabbed teen

POLICE failed to act after the family of a teenager who was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack told them that a stalker had threatened to kill her, a friend said yesterday.

Arsema Dawit, 15, whose body was discovered in a lift in a block of flats near London’s Waterloo station on Monday, had been attacked before, Simon Tesfaghiorgish told reporters. A friend of the victim, he said: “I didn’t know him but he had been harassing her. The mother told the police a number of times.

“The police said they couldn’t take any action. What they want is, after things happen, they want to know. We are going to complain about this. He beat her and threatened to kill her,” he said.

Arsema, dressed in her school uniform, was found slumped in a lift in Matheson Lang Gardens at about 4.30pm on Monday. She had been stabbed repeatedly.

A man in his 30s, who was arrested on Monday night, was being questioned about the murder at a south London police station yesterday.

Neighbour Wayne Fort, whose partner and nine-year-old daughter found the body, said Arsema had been troubled in the past by a man.

“I encountered an incident about two months ago,” he said.

He said he saw an argument between the man and a female member of Arsema’s family in the stairway of the flats. He said the girl was warning the man not to harm her sister again.

“There was a chap who seemed to be infatuated with her,” he said. “He seemed to have met her at the church. I could see from the efforts of the elders of the family they were trying to get rid of the man.”

Fort said his daughter was extremely upset.

After finding the body, Fort said his daughter came banging on the door of his flat, crying “Daddy, Daddy, quick, come! The girl’s in the lift, she’s on the floor, there’s lots of blood.”


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