- to be sentenced on April 7
A man who murdered schoolteacher Sabina Nessa has been convicted after police provided irrefutable evidence of his crime.
Nessa's body, 28, from Kidbrooke, was found at 17:32hrs on Saturday 18 September, near OneSpace community centre in Cator Park, Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3.
Before her death, she was supposed to meet a friend at the Depot bar on Pegler Square, Kidbrooke village in East London.
The police initial post-mortem, which was done at Greenwich Mortuary on Monday, 20 September, was inconclusive.
Koci Selamaj was arrested on 23 September 2021 after the police shared a CCTV image of him leaving the crime scene.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Garrity leads the investigation from the Specialist Crime Command.
He said: "Our initial enquiries suggest that this attack happened at around 20:30hrs on Friday, 17 September, a time when the park was likely being used by many people from dog walkers to joggers."
Police arrested Koci Selamaj, whom investigation showed travelled from Eastbourne to Cator Park in Kidbrooke, where he hid in bushes until he saw Sabina.
The police also said that Koci had never met or had any links to Sabina before the attack.
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, his conviction today 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."©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.