Sabina Nessa: Garage worker Koci Selamaj pleads guilty to murdering primary school teacher | UK News

Garage worker Koci Selamaj has pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering primary school teacher Sabina Nessa.

Ms Nessa, 28, was attacked in Cator Park, Kidbrooke, southeast London, while on the way to meet a friend on 17 September.

Selamaj had previously accepted responsibility for her death, but had not admitted her murder.

Selamaj is pictured in a court sketch alongside a prison officer on Tuesday
Selamaj is pictured in a court sketch alongside a prison officer

A pre-meditated attack with ‘extreme violence’

The 36-year-old had driven to London from his home in Eastbourne on the south coast to carry out a pre-meditated attack on a woman with “extreme violence”.

He lurked around Cator Park before targeting Ms Nessa as she passed through on her way to meet a friend.

CCTV showed the moment Selamaj repeatedly struck Ms Nessa with a 2ft long weapon believed to be a traffic triangle before carrying her away unconscious.

It is alleged he then strangled her in undergrowth in what was suspected to be a sexually-motivated attack.

Ms Nessa’s body was found nearly 24 hours later covered with grass near a community centre in the park.

Days later Selamaj was arrested in Eastbourne and charged over her death.

Garage worker Koci Selamaj allegedly attacked the 28-year-old school teacher as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London
People at a vigil for Ms Nessa at Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex

Suspect caught carrying out attack on CCTV

At a previous hearing, Alice Morgan QC said: “The prosecution allege this was a premeditated and predatory attack on a stranger.”

She said the attack was carried out with “extreme violence”.

Three days before the attack, the defendant booked a room at the five-star Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, the town where he already had accommodation.

His reservation was for the night of 17 September and he arrived earlier in the day to check in. he was captured walking through the lobby wearing the same clothes as the suspect later caught on CCTV in Kidbrooke.

The defendant’s Nissan Micra was tracked by ANPR cameras and cell site evidence was gathered to identify his movements from Eastbourne to south London later that day – the evidence showed the defendant also used his bank card at a Sainsbury’s in Kidbrooke.

He entered Cator Park shortly after 8pm and lay in wait for half an hour before Ms Nessa arrived.

Details of the attck

Ms Morgan said: “The defendant is seen in effect loitering in locations around the park before spotting the deceased, checking to see if anyone else was nearby before turning and running after her.

“He is then seen to move towards the deceased and striking her repeatedly using a weapon which was approximately 2ft in length.

“In fact it was a weapon which appeared to break up during the course of the many strikes on the deceased.

“The CCTV footage shows the defendant then carrying the deceased, who appeared to be unconscious by that point, up a bank and effectively out of sight.”

Selamaj pleaded guilty to murder at an Old Bailey hearing on Friday. He had no previous convictions and was not known to his victim.

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