Sabina Nessa had been making her way to a bar to meet a friend on September 17, but never arrived. Her body was found nearly 24 hours later in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London
The defendant in the killing of Sabina Nessa is accused of beating the primary school teacher to death in a “premeditated and predatory attack on a stranger”, a court heard today.
Koci Selamaj, 36, allegedly murdered the 28-year-old woman in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, a few minutes from her home.
It is claimed her attacker used a 2ft long weapon to strike her repeatedly before carrying her away unconscious.
The Old Bailey heard Ms Nessa had been making her way to The Depot bar in Kidbrooke Village to meet a friend on September 17, but never arrived.
Her body was found nearly 24 hours later covered with grass near a community centre in the park.
Selamaj, who appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Wormwood Scrubs prison, was remanded in custody after indicating a not guilty plea at an earlier hearing.
The Albanian national, who heard proceedings through an interpreter, only spoke to confirm his name and date of birth.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said: “Sabina Nessa was murdered on 17 September of this year.
“The defendant is 36 as of this year and had no previous convictions.
“He is an Albanian national. There is nothing to suggest the defendant and the deceased were known to each other.
“The prosecution suggests this was a premeditated and predatory attack on a stranger.
“At the time of these events, the defendant was living at a flat in Eastbourne, East Sussex.”
Remanding him in custody Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft, said: “The next hearing, in this case, will be on 16 December.”
A post-mortem examination has yet to confirm the exact cause of the teacher’s death.
Ms Nessa taught a year one class at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford.
Selamaj, who was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning in Eastbourne, East Sussex, previously worked as a Domino’s delivery driver.
A local shopkeeper said he recognised him in CCTV footage released by the Metropolitan Police last week as he had been a regular customer, but he had not seen him for about a month.
He said he was a takeaway delivery driver who “would never really speak, he would just keep his head down”, adding: “He tended to get phone top ups and not much else.”
A vigil attended by 500 people was held in memory of the “beautiful” teacher in nearby Peglar Square on Friday.
During the vigil, her sister Jebina Yasmin Islam told the crowd she had “lost an amazing, caring, beautiful sister, who left this world far too early”.
She said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who came today to show support for my sister” before she added her family’s “world is shattered, we are simply lost for words”.
She added: “No family should go through what we are going through.”