Following the murder of Sabina Nessa in London in September 2021, Koci Selamaj, 36, has appeared in court over her killing.
Updated 16 December 2021: This morning, the Old Bailey heard how 36-year-old Koci Selamaj, who stands accused of murdering primary school teacher Sabina Nessa in September 2021, has admitted responsibility for her death.
Selamaj, an Albanian national, is accused of a “premeditated and predatory” attack on the 28-year-old teacher, a previous court hearing was told.
Today, Selamaj pleaded not guilty to murder, however, his barrister told the court that Selamaj “accepts responsibility for the killing of Sabina Nessa”.
Mr Justice Wall remanded him in custody until a further hearing on 25 February next year, with a trial date being set for 7 June 2022.
Reported 1 October 2021: The Magistrates’ Court has heard how Sabina Nessa was murdered in a ‘premeditated and predatory’ stranger attack, as garage worker Koci Selamaj, 36, appeared at the Old Bailey via video link on Thursday charged with her murder.
Selamaj is said to have targeted the 28-year-old as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on her way to meet a friend on September 17.
It is claimed her attacker used a 2ft long weapon to strike her repeatedly before carrying her away unconscious. Her body was found 24 hours later covered in leaves at a community centre near the park.
A post-mortem examination has yet to confirm the exact cause of her death but the attack was said to have involved ‘extreme violence’.
Updated 29 September 2021: A 36-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 28-year-old Sabina Nessa, police have said.
According to the Metropolitan Police, Koci Selamaj from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday 26 September and was later charged for Nessa’s murder.
On Tuesday 28 September, Selamaj appeared at Willesden Magistrates’ Court, where his solicitor said his client intended to plead not guilty.
Commenting on the charge, Lisa Ramsarran, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the Metropolitan Police Service to charge Koci Selamaj, 36, with one count of murder.
The charge relates to the murder of 28-year-old primary school teacher Sabina Nessa in Kidbrooke, southeast London, on Friday, 17 September 2021.”
As the BBC reports, District Judge Denis Brennan remanded Mr Selamaj in custody to appear at the Old Bailey for a bail hearing on 30 September. A trial and plea preparation hearing will take place on 26 October.
Two other men, aged 38 and 41, who were arrested by police investigating the teacher’s death have been released under investigation.
As reported on 24 September 2021: the Metropolitan police have arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of the murder of Sabina Nessa in south-east London, who is currently in custody for questioning.
As the BBC reports, the body of 28-year-old primary school teacher Nessa was found by a member of the public in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, South London, on Saturday 18 September.
Officers believe that the attack happened on Friday 17 September, shortly after Nessa left her home at around 8.30pm to meet a friend at The Depot bar.
This is the second arrest in relation to Nessa’s murder. A man in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of murder and released under investigation, the Metropolitan Police said previously.
The police have also issued CCTV images of another man they wish to speak to over Nessa’s death, who can be seen walking in Pegler Square, SE3, on the evening she was attacked.
The police have also released an image of a silver vehicle they believe the man had access to, which was also seen in the area, and have urged anyone who recognises it to contact them immediately.
Nessa’s murder has led to a continued outpouring of concern about women’s safety. In response to her killing, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for misogyny to be made a hate crime in the wake of horrific murders of women.
A vigil is due to be held in her memory on Friday evening, organised by a Kidbrooke community group with the support of Reclaim the Streets, which held a vigil for murder victim Sarah Everard in Clapham Common that ended in mass arrests.
This story will be regularly updated as the case progresses.
Images: Met Police