Everything we know so far about Sabina Nessa’s killing

Police believe Sabina Nessa - a 28-year-old teacher - could have been killed a stranger, just metres from her home.

The horrific killing of 28-year-old Sabina Nessa, just metres from her home in Greenwich, has left the capital horrified.

Here’s everything we know about the tragic death so far.

Who was Sabina Nessa?

Sabina Nessa was a 28-year-old teacher, who lived in Kidbrooke Village, Greenwich.

Sabina studied at the University of Bedfordshire, and had been a teacher at Rushey Green primary school, in Lewisham, for a year.

Headteacher Lisa Williams said: “We are devastated by Sabina’s tragic death.

“She was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils.

“She had so much life ahead of her and so much more to give and her loss is desperately sad.”

Sabina’s sister described her as “beautiful, talented and caring”.

Astell Road, in Greenwich, where Sabina Nessa lived on. She was killed in a park five minutes away. Credit: Lynn Rusk

The woman, who goes by the name Jax, said on Twitter: “My beautiful, talented and caring sister.

“Never in my life did I or my sisters or my Mum or Dad think this could happen to us.

“May Allah grant her Jannah. Ameen.

“Three sisters down to two.

“Please make dua for her.

“No mother or father should have to go through this, may Allah grant my parents ease.”

Her cousin, Zubel Ahmed, said her family was “inconsolable”.

He told ITV: “The shock has not sunk in.

“She was a beautiful, kind, caring soul.

“I express my deepest sympathies for her sisters, mum and dad are absolutely devastated.

“Nothing is making sense to us, why was she taken from us we just don’t know.”

“She was the sweetest person, sweetest girl, I don’t understand how someone can do this it’s a big loss to our family.”

Who are police searching for?

What do police think happened to Sabina Nessa

Ms Nessa lived inside the £1billion regeneration project, which was recently built in Kidbrooke village.

Police understand she crossed the bridge from Astell Road and began walking through Cator Park.

She was thought to be heading to the Depot Pub, on Pegler Square, which is at the north end of the park, by Kidbrooke railway station.

Sabina was due to meet a friend at the pub, but never arrived.

Detectives think she was attacked while walking through Cator Park.

The OneSpace community centre, next to where Sabina Nessa’s body was found in Kidbrooke Village, Greenwich. Credit: Lynn Rusk

Fiona Oletu, 23, a paralegal who lives nearby said: “One of my neighbours is the guy who found the body.

“He was walking his dog on the other side of the path and thought he saw a potato sack in the bushes by the community centre.

“He crossed over and said it was strange because there was someone passed out covered in leaves.

“She was wearing sparkly boots and a slip dress, so he thought she had come from a night out.

“So he got down and started talking to her, because he thought she had maybe got drunk and passed out.

“He said her boots were on and facing the sky and her neck was almost turned all the way back.

“He brushed the leaves off and saw some blood and that’s when he realised something was wrong.

“She did not have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. He also said it was weird because there were a lot of flies hovering around.

“His phone had died so he had to borrow someone else’s and then called the police.”

What the Metropolitan Police have said

He said: “That’s definitely a line of inquiry that we’re looking at.”

The top cop said he was keeping an “open mind to the motive” but was concerned the killer was still at large.

However he said there was no intelligence that the attacker would strike again.

Det Ch Supt Lawry explained: “We have lines of inquiry that we’re pursuing at the moment.

“It’s always a concern that it may happen, but that’s not something that we have any intelligence on at this time.”

The police scene in Kidbrooke, where Sabina Nessa was killed. People have been leaving flowers in tribute. Credit: Lynn Rusk

“We’re listening to people, we’re understanding where people are feeling not so safe and we’re putting out patrols to make sure that we do that.

“This isn’t just a policing issue, there’s lots of issues to be able to make people feel safe in an open space and we’re working with our partners to ensure we do that.”

Det Insp Joe Garrity, leading the murder investigation, has appealed for further witnesses.

He said this morning: “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.”

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 0208 721 4266 or Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.

CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of a man detectives want to speak to in connection with the murder of Sabina Nessa

Who the police are searching for

The images of the man, taken from CCTV, shows him walking in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke, Greenwich, on the evening Sabina was attacked.

CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of a vehicle detectives want to trace in connection with the murder of Sabina Nessa

Police have also released an image of a silver vehicle they believe the suspect has access to, which was also captured in the Pegler Square area.

They are urging anyone who recognises the man and vehicle to make contact immediately.

Police are hoping to trace this man in relation to Sabina Nessa’s death. Credit: Met Police

Det Ch Insp Neil John, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Our team have been working tirelessly to find the person responsible for Sabina’s murder and this has included an extensive trawl of CCTV, work which remains ongoing.

“We would ask anyone – especially those in Kidbrooke and the wider area of Lewisham and Greenwich – to take a careful look at these images to check whether you know who this man is or have seen him over recent days.

“Any information as to his identity or whereabouts could be vital for our investigation so we are asking you to share this image far and wide to ensure as many people as possible see it.”

Has anyone been arrested?

Earlier in the week a man in his 40s was arrested. He has since been released under investigation.

On Thursday, the police arrested a 38-year-old man, from Lewisham, in connection with the murder, who remains in custody.

Flowers left for Sabina Nessa at the scene of the crime in Cator Park, Kidbrooke. Credit: Lynn Rusk

What the community has said

“The community is feeling sad, this is some kind of harassment for women, especially for Muslim women,” a Bengali woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told LondonWorld.

“We all want some kind of security at the moment, this is a very nice place but still this happened here.

“It is scary for the community and also the Bengali community, because from her name it sounds like she was a Bengali girl.

“Women are not safe anywhere, especially in this country - I didn’t think it would happen.

“I feel very scared and sad as she was just a young girl.”

“It is quite a shock to be honest, but in the particular area where that awful thing happened, people use it all the time,” a woman, who gave her name as Mia, told LondonWorld.

“There’s a local Sainsbury’s in the area so there’s lots and lots of people around.

“Today I didn’t want to go on my own so I brought my son with me.

“We need more police patrols in the area.

“I don’t know where the cameras are situated or anything like that, if the area is going to be monitored properly.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wearing a face mask. Credit: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

“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.

“Any information you can share will be vital in supporting the investigation.

“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.

“The local community can expect to see highly visible police patrols across the boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich as the Met Police do everything they can to keep people safe.”

When is the vigil for Sabina Nessa?

Reclaim These Streets, a group that fights for women’s safety, will be holding a candlelit vigil at 7pm on Friday in Peglar Square in Kidbrooke Village, Greenwich.

“A candlelight vigil is planned.

“Please feel free to bring your own candle.”

Reclaim These Streets is holding a vigil for Sabina Nessa. Credit: Reclaim These Streets

The group shared the vigil on Twitter and added: “If you can’t join in person, please light a candle at 7pm on your doorstep.

“It’s deeply sad and shocking when something like this happens in your community.

“Thank you to all the women in the Kidbrooke community for organising this vigil.”

A spokesperson for the Reclaim the Streets told LondonWorld: “We are angry and heartbroken about the murder of Sabina Nessa.

“There is an epidemic of violence unfolding in front of our eyes and all we are getting from the Government are empty words and reports.

“The Government is fully aware of what is needed because countless frontline charities have been repeating it for years.

“We need a reformed criminal justice system that does not let women down – especially women of colour.

“Misogyny should be a hate crime.

“Rapes should no longer go unprosecuted and unpunished. Women should be able to walk into a police station confident that they will be believed and taken seriously.

“It is our responsibility, the public and the media’s, to keep up the pressure for change until we don’t have to mourn any more women taken by male violence.

“We need to stop putting the burden of staying safe on women. This is not a women’s issue, it is everyone’s responsibility.”