Sabina Nessa: Garage worker charged with Kidbrooke murder remanded in prison

Koci Selamaj appeared for his second court hearing, accused of the murder of teacher Sabina Nessa in Kidbrooke.

<p>Artists impression of Koci Selamaj  appearing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court, this morning, September 28, 2021. Credit: Julia Quenzler / SWNS</p>

Artists impression of Koci Selamaj appearing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court, this morning, September 28, 2021. Credit: Julia Quenzler / SWNS

An Albanian garage worker accused of beating primary school teacher Sabina Nessa to death in a south-east London park was remanded in custody today.

Ms Nessa, 28, was murdered as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, on her way to meet a friend on 17 September.

Her body was found covered in leaves, nearly 24 hours later, near a community centre in the park.

Koci Selamaj, 36, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday 26, and charged with murder.

Selamaj appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link from HMP Wormwood Scrubs wearing a green and yellow prison-issue jumpsuit.

Aided by an Albanian interpreter, Selamaj spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

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Alison Morgan, QC, prosecuting, told the court: “Sabina Nessa was murdered on September 17 this year.

“The defendant is 36 years old. He is an Albanian national.

“There is nothing to suggest the deceased and the defendant were known to each other.

“On the evening of September 17, Sabina Nessa made plans to meet a friend at a bar called The Depot in Kidbrooke Village.

“In order to get to that location she took a route through Cator Park in Kidbrooke Village.

“She was attacked and killed in Cator Park.’

Ms Morgan said: “Post-mortem examinations are ongoing.

“The pathologist has indicated a number of likely causes of death, but those are ongoing as is the consideration of what else may have happened by way of attack to the deceased at that time.’

Ms Morgan told the Old Bailey: “At the time of these events the defendant was living at an address in Eastbourne.

“He has legal status in this country and he was working at a garage in the Eastbourne area.”

Ms Nessa taught a year one class at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford, Lewisham.

Selamaj was remanded in custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing on 16 December.