Sunday, 5 December, 2021
E-paper

Sabina Nessa: garage worker in court accused of ‘predatory’ murder

  • The Guardian
  • 1st October, 2021 08:48:31 PM
  • Print news

A man has appeared in court accused of the “predatory” murder of the primary school teacher Sabina Nessa.

Garage worker Koci Selamaj, 36, allegedly attacked the 28-year-old as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on her way to meet a friend on 17 September.

It is claimed he used a 2ft-long weapon to strike her repeatedly before carrying her away unconscious. The body of Nessa, who taught a year-one class at Rushey Green primary school in Catford, was found covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.

The prosecutor, Alison Morgan QC, told the court it was a “predatory” stranger attack and there was no suggestion the defendant knew Nessa.

A postmortem has yet to confirm the exact cause of her death but the attack was said to have involved “extreme violence”.

Selamaj, from Eastbourne in East Sussex, was arrested in the seaside town in the early hours of Sunday and charged with her murder on Monday. Originally from Albania, he appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday before the recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft QC.

During the hearing, the defendant, who had already indicated he would deny murder, spoke to confirm his name and date of birth before a timetable for the case was set.

Dressed in a prison-issue green and yellow top, he appeared in court by video link from Wormwood Scrubs assisted by an Albanian interpreter in court. Lucraft set a plea hearing for 16 December and remanded him in custody.