A man has pleaded guilty to the murder of London teacher Sabina Nessa

TW: This article contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault and violence. 

Koci Selamaj, a 36-year-old garage worker from Eastbourne, has pleaded guilty to the murder of 28-year-old primary school teacher, Sabina Nessa

On Friday 25 February 2022, Selamaj admitted a charge of murder at the Old Bailey in London. He is due to be sentenced on 7 April, later this year. 

On 17 September 2021, Sabina was attacked and killed by Selamaj, who was not known to her, as she walked through Cator Park in south-east London to meet a friend. 

At an earlier hearing, the prosecutor, Alison Morgan QC, described the attack as “premeditated and predatory,” adding that it involved “extreme violence,” and a sexual or sadistic element.

The court heard that CCTV showed Selamaj had spotted Sabina in the park – before looking around him to see if anyone else was around. He then struck her 34 times using a metal traffic triangle, before carrying her away and strangling her. 

Sabina’s body was found the next day, covered in grass and with her tights and underwear removed. 

The prosecutor said (via BBC News), “Some of her movements through the park and the attack on her were captured on CCTV footage.

“The male shown on that CCTV footage is alleged to be this defendant.”

The court also heard that Selamaj had previously been violent to his former partner. He is believed to have travelled from Eastbourne to London with the intention of murdering someone, having booked a hotel in London.

He was arrested on 26 September in Eastbourne and initially denied killing Sabina. 

Lisa Williams, the head of Rushey Green primary school where Sabina worked, described her as a kind, caring teacher who was “absolutely dedicated to her pupils”: 

“She had so much life ahead of her and so much more to give and her loss is desperately sad. As a school we are supporting each other through this very difficult time, and we will be providing specialist support to those who need it,” she said.

Our thoughts are with Sabina’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time. 

For more from Glamour UK’s Lucy Morgan, follow her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra.