The ‘child refugee’ accused of murdering a Swedish aid worker may have been an adult posing as an orphan, it emerged yesterday.
Alexandra Mezher, 22, died after being knifed at a shelter for unaccompanied young asylum seekers.
But she is said to have earlier warned that she was caring for ‘big powerful guys’ aged up to 24. Miss Mezher’s mother Chimene said ‘orphans’ at the centre often lied about their age.
She said her daughter worked there alone on night shifts because she wanted to help ‘mother’ the supposed youngsters, some of whom in reality were grown men.
It came as police last night charged Youssaf Khaliif Nuur, a Somalian ’15-year-old’, with murder and attempted murder – but admitted they may not know his true identity.
Mrs Mezher, 42, said: ‘Alexandra knew how to handle children including violent ones. But those she was working with were big powerful guys – she could see it in their eyes and their bodies.
‘A few were maybe under 18, but the rest were older, maybe 23 or 24.’
She said her psychology graduate daughter had been warned four hours before she started her last shift that a knife had been stolen from the kitchen, but nothing was apparently done.
The shelter was set up in Molndal, a suburb of Gothenburg, to house migrants aged 14 to 17. Some 4,000 arrived without their parents in the past year alone in Molndal, which has a population of just 60,000.
Mrs Mezher said: ‘She said she had two from Somalia there, but never mentioned any trouble with them. Alexandra never said she was afraid of working there – I think she was protecting me, she did not want to scare me.
‘But a friend from the centre called her four or five hours before she started work that day to say a knife had been stolen from the kitchen. I heard her talking.
No one was allowed to say anything to their bosses at that place, they were too frightened, so I don’t know if the missing knife was reported.
‘The boss of the company has not even been here to see the family.’
Mother-of-four Mrs Mezher, who migrated from Lebanon 25 years ago, said: ‘Immigration has destroyed Sweden, they are coming in more than the country can accept. The kids that are coming here are criminal.’
She later wept bitterly as she remembered her ‘angel’ daughter at a church memorial service attended by 100 mourners who brought pink and white roses, Miss Mezher’s favourite flowers.