Police renew call for witnesses in Sabina Nessa murder inquiry

Sabina Nessa

Police officers investigating the murder of Sabina Nessa in south London have released details of the route she was travelling at the time of the attack in the hope that further witnesses will come forward.

Detectives understand that Sabina, a 28 year old teacher, left her home address on Astell Road, SE3 just before 20:30hrs on Friday September 17.

It is believed that she was making her way through Cator Park towards The Depot bar on Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village where she planned to meet a friend.

But Sabina never arrived at the pub and is thought to have been murdered as she walked through the park.

Her body was found close to the OneSpace community centre within the park at around 17.30hrs the following day.

A murder investigation was immediately launched, led by Detective Inspector Joe Garrity.

He said: “Our investigation is making good progress and specialist officers remain at the crime scene carrying out intensive searches and enquiries. We are incredibly grateful for all of those who have so far come forward and spoken to us but we believe there are still others out there who may have information that could help. If you think you saw Sabina or any suspicious behaviour in or around the park on Friday evening please speak to us.

“Sabina’s journey should have taken just over five minutes but she never made it to her destination. We know the community are rightly shocked by this murder – as are we – and we are using every resource available to us to find the individual responsible.”

A post-mortem examination carried out at Greenwich Mortuary on September 20 was inconclusive.

Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry, responsible for local policing in Greenwich, said: “Our thoughts are first and foremost with Sabina’s family and friends following this shocking incident and we will continue to provide our support to them as the investigation progresses.

“We know this incident will be worrying to those who live and work in the community. Over the next few days, they can expect to see extra high-visibility patrols both in and around the crime scene as well as other open spaces across the boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich. As always, we are also working very closely with both local authorities to speak to our communities to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep people safe.”

A man, aged in his 40s, arrested on suspicion of murder has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Anyone with information or any witnesses can call police on 101, reference 5747/18. To remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Meanwhile, colleagues and neighbours have paid tribute to Sabina. Lisa Williams, the head of Rushey Green primary school in Lewisham, called her a brilliant teacher and said the school had been left “devastated.”

Annie Gibbs, the vice-chair of the Kidbrooke forum community group, said people in the area were feeling shocked and scared. “We are a loving community and we have a strong sense of solidarity,” she said. “Everyone wants the same thing – to support Sabina’s family and to make sure that we find whoever did this so that she can get justice.”

She added: “We want people to respect and honour her life and make sure that we send a loud and clear message that we are a united community and this violent act isn’t going to divide us. Violence isn’t welcome here and we will stand up against it. Although many people didn’t know Sabina, our community is one.”

A vigil will be held at 7pm on Friday evening in Pegler Square supported by the group Reclaim These Streets, which organised a similar vigil after the murder of Sarah Everard in March.

Campaign groups have said that for too long the burden of women’s safety has been on women, adding that a woman dies at the hands of a man every three days in England.

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