A man has been convicted of murdering schoolteacher Sabina Nessa after a police investigation provided irrefutable evidence of his guilt.
Koci Selamaj, 37, travelled from Eastbourne to Cator Park in Kidbrooke where he hid in bushes until he saw 28-year-old Sabina, who he had never met or had any links to.
He carried out a brutal and sustained attack, using a metal traffic warning sign as the murder weapon, before hiding her body and driving home.
A major investigation, involving officers from across the Met, led to Selamaj’s identification, arrest and finally to his conviction yesterday at the Old Bailey.
DCI Neil John, who led the investigation into Sabina’s murder, said: “Selamaj’s senseless attack cut short the life of a completely innocent woman who had so much to look forward to. Her family and friends have had their lives turned upside down and my thoughts will always remain with them. I can never imagine the pain they have gone through or how they have found the strength to come to court and relive what happened to Sabina. They are truly remarkable.
“This case was a truly collaborative effort, from forensic teams gathering vital evidence, to officers trawling through hundreds of hours of CCTV. This left Selamaj with no choice but to plead guilty and I know it is a great relief to Sabina’s family that they do not have to sit through a lengthy trial.
“Selamaj’s actions did not only affect one family or one community. They struck at the heart of the fears of many women who should have the right to walk in our open spaces safely, no matter the time of day or the location. Right across the Met there is a relentless effort to tackle violence against women and girls and to bring those who perpetrate these crimes to justice.”
Selamaj will be sentenced on Thursday 7 April at the Old Bailey.
Helen Ellwood, CPS London Homicide prosecutor, said: “Sabina Nessa was 28 years old when her life was cut short as a result of truly evil violence inflicted upon her as she walked through a park.
“Koci Selamaj has shown little remorse for this premeditated and predatory attack on a lone woman who was a stranger to him. His cowardly actions devastated a family and caused immeasurable pain to all those who knew and loved Sabina.
“The prosecution was able to build the strongest possible case resulting in Selamaj admitting his guilt as a result of a meticulous investigation led by the Metropolitan Police Service which included an extensive review of CCTV footage and detailed forensic work.
“The CPS is committed to prosecuting violence against women and girls and we hope this conviction provides some sense of justice for the family and friends of Sabina Nessa. Our thoughts remain very much with them at this time.”