Man arrested in connection with Sabina Nessa murder

Photograph: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

The Metropolitan police arrested a man on Sunday in connection with the murder of south London primary school teacher Sabina Nessa. 

A 38-year-old man was arrested from an address in East Sussex at around 3am and is in police custody.

“Sabina’s family have been informed of this significant development and they continue to be supported by specialist officers,” said DCI Neil John, of the Metropolitan police’s specialist crime command.

Sabina, 28, was killed on September 17 and her body was found the following day in Cater Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London. She was on her way to meet friends.

The incident has sparked a new debate on women’s safety on the streets of London.

Joe Garrity, the detective inspector leading the Met’s investigation, said: “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.”

On Friday, around 1,000 people, including Sabina’s family, held a candlelight vigil at Pegler Square in Kidbrooke demanding an end to violence against women in the country.

“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,” Sabina’s sister, Jebina, told the crowd. “No family should go through what we are going through, we have lost an amazing, caring, beautiful sister, who left this world far too early.”

A book of condolences was also opened in her memory at the OneSpace community centre for visitors to write their tributes.

“OneSpace staff and trustees would like to express their deepest condolences for the family and friends of Sabina Nessa after her tragic death on Friday evening near OneSpace building,” OneSpace said.

“On Saturday we will reopen the cafe, there will be a prayer room for all who wish to use this space. We will also have a book of condolence for anyone who wishes to write something.”

Police have made repeated appeals to the general public seeking information about Sabina’s death. CCTV footage of a man and a picture of a silver car was released by the police on the evening she was attacked

Earlier, two men, one 38-year-old and a 40-year-old, were arrested but were later released.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Member of Parliament Janet Daby have asked for a speedy investigation.

Khan said: “I am heartbroken by the death of Sabina Nessa, a young woman who had a bright future ahead of her. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and the whole community who are devastated by her death.

“The perpetrator of this despicable crime must be caught and brought to justice which is why I want to encourage anyone who may have been in the park around the time of the incident, and may have relevant information, to contact the police.

“Women and girls in London deserve to feel safe at all times, in every part of our city, and as Mayor, I remain committed to making our city safer for them.”

And Daby said in parliament: “How many women’s lives must be stolen before this government takes serious action?”

Barely six months have passed since the country witnessed the horrific abduction, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard in South London by a serving police officer. Thousands have since taken to the streets demanding an end to violence against women in the country.

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