Koci Selamaj pleads guilty to murder of Sabina Nessa

A garage worker from Eastbourne has pleaded guilty to the “sadistic” murder of the schoolteacher Sabina Nessa in London last September.

At the start of his trial at the Old Bailey in London, Koci Selamaj, 36, was asked how he wished to plead to the charge of murder. “Guilty,” he replied.

Prosecuting, Alison Morgan QC said: “This was a murder involving sexual or sadistic conduct. That being the case, the prosecution will submit that the appropriate starting point when considering the minimum term is one of 30 years.”

Nessa, 28, was found dead in Cator Park, Kidbrooke, south-east London, on 18 September, a day after leaving her home to meet a friend in a nearby bar.

The year 1 teacher at Rushey Green primary school in Catford was found covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.

The court heard that CCTV footage showed Selamaj, who had a history of domestic violence, struck Nessa an estimated 34 times to the head with a metal emergency traffic triangle, and then killed her by asphyxiation.

Morgan said the defendant then “removed Miss Nessa’s tights and underwear and lifted her clothes so that the mid to upper parts of her body were exposed”.

She said a pathology report found no positive evidence of a sexual assault but this did not exclude the possibility of such an attack.

“The prosecution submits that the circumstances in which Miss Nessa’s body was found demonstrate the sexual motivation that must have existed – the positioning of her legs, the exposure of parts of her body and the removal of her underwear,” she said.

She added: “None of those factual features are disputed in this case.”

After killing Nessa, Selamaj covered her body in grass at the place in the park she was found the next day, the court heard.

Selamaj then drove his Nissan Micra to a pre-booked room at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, east Sussex, Morgan told the court. He travelled via Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where he dumped the traffic triangle used in the attack,…

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