Sabina Nessa: Man charged with murder of teacher

A 36-year-old man has been charged with the murder of the primary school teacher Sabina Nessa in south-east London.

Koci Selamaj was arrested in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the early hours of Sunday. A light-coloured Nissan Micra was later seized in a leafy residential street around half a mile away.

He will appear before Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Ms Nessa was killed as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on her way to meet a friend on September 17.

Her body was found nearly 24 hours later covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.

A Nissan Micra was seized from a street in Eastbourne on Monday

Credit: EDDIE MITCHELL/DAN JESSUP

The suspect is understood to have been working as a food delivery driver in Eastbourne and is thought to be originally from eastern Europe.

A worker in a newsagent near the flat where Mr Selamaj was living said he would come in to the shop to top up his phone or energy key, but would not make conversation.

"He was so quiet, he didn’t say anything, just came to top up and left," the member of shop staff said.

Restaurants close to where he was arrested on suspicion of murdering Ms Nessa were told not to empty their bins, as detectives continued to question the former pizza delivery driver. 

The man, who lived with his girlfriend, used to work as a Dominos delivery driver until July this year, according to locals.

Sabina Nessa route map

Police raided his flat at 3am and recovered a silver Nissan Micra car several hours later from a nearby street. 

Forensics officers and specialist detectives remained at the scene on Monday as questioning of the suspect continued. 

Two chefs at a nearby Japanese restaurant said police officers had told them not to empty their bins.   

One neighbour said: "It’s been a huge shock. His girlfriend was a character. She fed the seagulls and talked to them. 

"He was always helpful. A couple of times he would help me with the buggy and my child. I’ve been here for two years and he was always there during that time."

His detention followed an appeal in which Scotland Yard released CCTV footage of a man they wanted to question. 

The murder has reignited the debate around women’s safety on the streets of London. 

On Friday evening hundreds gathered in Kidbrooke for a vigil to mark Miss Nessa’s life. Jebina Yasmin Islam, Ms Nessa’s sister, broke down as she addressed crowds.

She said: "Words cannot describe how we are feeling, this feels like we are stuck in a bad dream and can’t get out of it. Our world is shattered, we are simply lost for words.

"No family should go through what we are going through."

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