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Sabina Nessa: Man jailed for London murder of 28-year-old teacher

Koci Selamaj will serve at least 36 years in prison, after a major investigation led to his identification, arrest and conviction at the Old Bailey in February, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Friday.

Police said Nessa left her home in the London Borough of Greenwich just after 8.30pm on September 17. Detectives believe she was walking through Cator Park to a bar in Pegler Square, where she had planned to meet a friend, because she was late.

“On September 17, 2021 Koci Selamaj, 36, traveled from Eastbourne to Cator Park in Kidbrooke [south-east London] where he was waiting for an unsuspecting victim to come his way,” the Metropolitan Police said.

“At around 8:30 p.m. he saw Sabina enter the park and carried out a fierce sexual assault before fleeing,” police said on Friday.

Nessa, a teacher from Bedfordshire who lived at an address that overlooked the park, was allegedly murdered on her journey through the park, the Met said. Her body was found the following afternoon by a man walking his dog.

“The judge ruled that Selamaj had committed an ‘absolutely appalling murder,'” the police statement said.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, who led the investigation, said: “We heard today from Sabina’s family and the devastating impact it has had on their whole life. They have continued to amaze us with their dignity and bravery and our thoughts remain with them.

“Those who knew Sabina weren’t the only ones affected by her murder. Her death struck at the heart of the fears of many women who should be allowed to walk around our open spaces safely, no matter what time of the day. day or place,” said John.

Nessa’s death came six months after the UK was reeling from the assault and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard.

Everard disappeared after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3. Her body was found a week later, more than 80 km from where she was last seen. Her killer, an on-duty police officer, pleaded guilty to her kidnapping, rape and murder.

Everard’s story sparked an outpouring on social media of women sharing their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment, catapulting the UK’s damning record of violence against women and girls into the national spotlight. .

One in five women in the UK will experience sexual assault in their lifetime, according to London’s Met Police, who said recorded cases of domestic violence in the UK capital had increased by 26% in five years. More than 19,000 sexual offense allegations were recorded by the Met in 2020-21 alone, added strength in an updated action plan to tackle violence against women and girls in London in April.

Kara Fox contributed reporting.

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