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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Emily Pennink

Sabina Nessa murder accused accepts responsibility for killing

PA Wire

A man accused of murdering 28-year-old schoolteacher Sabina Nessa has accepted responsibility for her killing.

Koci Selamaj, 36, travelled to London from his home in Eastbourne on the south coast to carry out what the prosecution alleges was a “pre-meditated and predatory” attack.

Selamaj, an Albanian national, appeared at the Old Bailey today for a plea and directions hearing where he entered a formal not guilty plea to murder.

However it was indicated on his behalf that he accepted responsibility for killing Ms Nessa.

It is claimed he struck Ms Nessa with a 2ft long weapon as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east, London, on her way to meet a friend on 17 September.

The body of Ms Nessa, who taught a year one class at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford, was found nearly 24 hours later covered with grass near a community centre in the park.

It is believed that Ms Nessa's attacker was a complete stranger to her.

Selamaj, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was arrested in the seaside town and charged with her murder.

Members of Ms Nessa’s family sat in court a few metres from the defendant in the dock who was assisted by an Albanian interpreter.

Bearded Selamaj, who wore a facemask and grey T-shirt, spoke only to confirm his identity and entered.

Senior judge, Mr Justice Wall, set a further hearing on 25 February next year. He set a trial of up to five weeks from 7 June next year.

Ms Nessa’s death sparked calls for more government action to tackle violence against women and girls. A vigil for the schoolteacher was attended by hundreds as her family paid tribute.

Jebina Yasmin Islam, Sabina Nessa’s sister told the crowd: “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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