Updated article published on 28/09/21:
A man has been charged with the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa.
Koci Selamaj, 36, was arrested in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Sunday.
Mr Selamaj, of Terminus Road in the town, will appear at Willesden Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, said the Metropolitan Police.
Updated article published on 27/09/21: Kate Middleton has expressed her condolences following the death of Sabina Nessa.
On Friday, September 24 the Duchess of Cambridge posted a message on the official @kensingtonroyal Twitter account which read: 'I am saddened by the loss of another innocent young woman on our streets.
'My thoughts are with Sabina's family and friends, and all those who have been affected by this tragic event. C.'
The BBC reports that a 36-year-old man was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on Sunday, September 26 in East Sussex on suspicion of Nessa's murder. Scotland Yard has since described the arrest as a 'significant development'.
The royal's message comes months after she attended Sarah Everard's memorial in March following her death. Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens later pleaded guilty to Everard's kidnapping, rape and murder.
I am saddened by the loss of another innocent young woman on our streets. My thoughts are with Sabina’s family and friends, and all those who have been affected by this tragic event. C
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 24, 2021
Nessa, a 28-year-old teacher, was attacked while walking to meet a friend at The Depot bar, Kidbrooke, on September 17. Her body was found the following day in Cator Park by a member of the public.
Over the last week members of the public have left tributes and candles in Pegler Square.
On Friday, September 24 hundreds of people took part in a vigil in Pegler Square. Nessa's sister Jebina Yasmin Islam told the attendees that she had 'lost an amazing, caring, beautiful sister, who left this world far too early'.
Original article published on 23/09/21: Teacher Sabina Nessa was murdered by a stranger five minutes’ walk from her house in south-east London, detectives say, just months after the senseless and horrific killing of Sarah Everard.
Officers investigating the death of the 28-year-old say she left her home on Astell Road and walked through Cator Park last Friday towards The Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village.
She was attacked in the park at around 8.30pm and her body was found on Saturday by a dog walker, hidden under a pile of leaves near the OneSpace community centre, say police.
Police are treating the case as a murder investigation and believe a stranger may have targeted Sabina before hiding her body in a meadow, just off the main park walkway.
Sabina’s cousin, Zubel Ahmed, described her as a ‘beautiful soul’ and said that the family understood she had been heading to meet a friend at a nearby pub when she was attacked from behind.’
Detective Superintendent Luke Marks has asked people to get in touch if they saw anything suspicious in the park, and for motorists with dashcam footage from the surrounding roads to contact police.
#WATCH #SHARE | Det Supt Luke Marks appeals for information from the public following the murder of Sabina Nessa in #Kidbrooke.
Do you have info that could help us? 📞101 ref 5747/18 Sept.https://t.co/XwUHupk8YZ pic.twitter.com/BfAegLZfcS
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) September 21, 2021
‘Our initial enquiries suggest that this attack happened at around 20:30hrs on Friday, 17 September, a time when the park was likely being used by many people from dog walkers to joggers,’ he said in a statement.
That Sabina was potentially attacked by someone she didn’t know is one of the most chilling aspects of the case. Research from the Femicide Census calculates that across the UK, a woman is killed by a man every three days. According to the ONS, nine out of ten killers in the UK are men.
Overwhelmingly, however, women are murdered by people they know: around 57 per cent in fact, with 32 per cent killed by a partner or ex-partner – compared to only 2 per cent of men. More than 70 per cent of women murdered in the last decade have been killed in their own home, double the number of men.
But the murder of Sabina Nessa is proof that women aren’t safe from random attacks, either. A recent YouGov poll for UN Women found that seven out of 10 women had experienced some form of sexual harassment in public. Chillingly, a third of women reported having been followed and one in five had faced indecent exposure.
PC Wayne Couzens, who has plead guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard, was accused of indecent exposure six years previously. The Independent Office for Police Conduct are investigating Kent Police over whether it handled the allegations properly, as well as exploring whether a second exposure – which occurred in south London only days before Sarah’s killing – was not properly looked into.
‘We are angry and heartbroken to hear about the loss of yet another woman. This is an epidemic of violence against women,’ Tweeted the campaign group Reclaim the Streets, which is organising a vigil for Sabina in her memory, and in solidarity against violence towards women.
Sabina’s death has reignited a wave of fury over women killed in London this year. Campaign group Our Streets Now has said: ‘Please, stop telling us we're overreacting.
Male violence is killing us. It's restricting our right to be free and equal citizens. We need change, now.’
We will not stop fighting for women’s rights, women’s safety, and women’s existence in this world.
Misogyny is real. Male violence is a global catastrophe for women and girls.
Say her name, learn about her life. Women are not just another stat or headline. #SabinaNessa pic.twitter.com/Vqa2rCKMGt
— Dr. Jessica Taylor (@DrJessTaylor) September 22, 2021
Social media users are encouraging people to share their outrage, using the hashtag #SayHerName, in an effort to demand real protections for women from violence.
Last week, a watchdog report into how the police tackle violence against women – commissioned after the murder of Sarah Everard – found that ending male violence was ‘not a priority’ within the police.
This latest tragedy proves that sadly, we still have a very long way to go before that’s true.
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