A Christian couple who welcomed the Liverpool terrorist attack suspect into their home have spoken of their shock.
Officers have named Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, as the person killed during the blast outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, which occurred just before 11.00 on Remembrance Monday, November 14.
Elizabeth and Malcolm Hitchcott welcomed Al Swealmeen from Iraq eight months ago. He was an asylum seeker who had been brought up in Iraq. Al Swealmeen reportedly converted to Christianity four years ago in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
Talking with ITV NewsMr Hitchcott was a former British Army soldier and said Al Swealmeen ‘was a very quiet fellow’:
I meant that he was here for eighteen months, and that we were living side by side. There was no hint of any problem. I feel shocked at the moment – I don’t know how I will feel tomorrow.
In the same interview, Mrs Hitchcott described recent attacks as “a” ‘waste of a life’Add that to the ‘one thing I suppose to be thankful for is that he did not kill anyone else’.
Interview with the MailOnlineMr Hitchcott stated that he first met Al Swealmeen at Liverpool Cathedral in 2015, when he was working there. At this point, he expressed an interest in changing from Islam to Christianity.
He visited the cathedral for the first time in August 2015. He wanted to become a Christian. He completed an Alpha course which explains Christian faith and was done in November 2015.
This allowed him to make an informed decision. He converted from Islam to Christianity by March 2017. We took him in as he was very poor at the time.
Hitchcott stated that Al Swealmeen had applied for asylum before. ‘He was refused asylum in 2014 by the UK. He had his case decided, rejected, because he has been sectioned because of some mental health incident.’
Al Swealmeen was arrested for possessing a ‘large knife’After his asylum application was rejected. After being rejected by his asylum claim, he was sectioned according to the Mental Health Act. He was then hospitalized for several months.
Anyone who has any information should call on 0161 856 1027 quoting Liverpool Women’s Hospital incident. You can also anonymously call Crimestoppers at 0800 555 112 for more information.