United Kingdom

Hunt for SECOND man in Sabina Nessa murder

Police today released new CCTV footage of the second man they are hunting over the murder of Sabina Nessa - after arresting a 38-year-old over the horrific attack on the primary school teacher just yards from her front door. 

Detectives released video of a bearded man wearing grey trousers and a black jacket walking outside a block of flats on Pegler Square in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on the evening the 28-year-old was attacked.

The first man, 38, was arrested on suspicion of murder last night in the second arrest in the investigation. Officers want anyone who can identify second man seen in the CCTV footage to urgently get in touch. 

In a separate development, reports suggested the attack itself had been caught on CCTV. 

Footage showed Sabina being struck on the head by an assailant wielding a weapon just moments after she left her flat, before she was slung over his shoulder and dumped in a local park, it is claimed. 

Sabina disappeared on Friday evening as she left home to meet a man for a first date at a local pub. Her body was found in Cator Park, 200 yards from her home, on Saturday afternoon. 

On the same day a man in his 40s and known to her was the first to be arrested on suspicion of her murder. He was later released under investigation.

The attack CCTV, first reported by the Daily Telegraph, shows an assailant apparently striking Sabina on the head with an object moments after she left her house.

He then carries her over his shoulder in the direction of Cator Park, a police source told the newspaper.

Their report came hours after police released their own CCTV images of a man they wish to identify in the case.

Scotland Yard appealed for information on the man shown, and a silver vehicle that was seen in the area, and asked the public to come forward with information. 

Meanwhile a vigil will take place in Peglar Square, near to where Sabina's body was found, at 7pm tonight. The vigil is organised by campaign group Reclaim the Streets, which said it is 'angry and heartbroken' about her death.

Police have since released a separate appeal for another man and a vehicle that was seen on CCTV in the area they hope to identify which could provide a breakthrough in the case

The man, pictured with balding, dark hair in grey tracksuit bottoms, a dark-coloured hoodie and black shoes, was seen on CCTV in Peglar Square on the evening of Sabina's attack 

Sabina Nessa, 28 was on her way to the pub when she was killed and her body dumped under a pile of leaves in the busy Cator Park, south-east London, police believe 

The man, pictured with balding, brown hair and in grey tracksuit bottoms, a dark-coloured jacket and black shoes, was seen on CCTV in Pegler Square, close to Kidbrooke rail station at the north end of Cator Park, on the evening of Sabina's attack.

Police are urging anyone who might be able to identify the man and his vehicle to make contact with them immediately on 0208 721 4266 or by calling Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A timeline of the Met Police's Sabina Nessa murder investigation

Sabina Nessa, a teacher at the Rushey Green Primary School in Lewisham, sets out on a five-minute journey to meet a friend at a pub in Kidbrooke but never arrives.

Saturday September 18, 5.30pm: Ms Nessa's body is found near the OneSpace community centre in Cator Park, Kidbrooke

Saturday evening: A man in his 40s is arrested on suspicion of murder at an address in Lewisham, and is later released under police investigation.

Monday September 20: A post-mortem carried out at Greenwich Mortuary proves to be inconclusive.

Monday, 9pm: The victim is identified publicly as Ms Nessa.  

Wednesday September 22: Ms Nessa's cousin Zubel Ahmed says that her family is 'inconsolable' following their loss.

In an interview with the BBC, he says: 'We are all truly devastated. Her parents are absolutely shocked, they're inconsolable still and understandably so, to hear of their daughter being taken away from them by some cowardly man is just horrific.'

Thursday 23 September, 8pm: The Metropolitan Police announce that a second, 38-year-old man has been arrested at an address in Lewisham on suspicion of Ms Nessa's murder and is being held in custody.

The force also issues CCTV images of a man they want to speak to, who was in the area at the time of the attack, as well as pictures of a car they believe the unknown man has access to.

Friday 24 September, 7pm: A vigil will be held in Pegler Square, south east London, near to where Sabina's body was found, in memory of the primary school teacher. The vigil will be held by Reclaim the Streets, a campaign group who said they were 'angry and heartbroken' about Sabina's death. The group has urged anyone who cannot attend to light a candle outside their door at 7pm.

Officers in the case also revealed last night they had arrested a 38-year-old man – said not to be the person shown in the CCTV images they released - on suspicion of murder.

The man was held at an address in Lewisham, southeast London, yesterday afternoon and remains in custody.

Detective Chief Inspector 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.'

Thursday saw the second arrest in the Sabina Nessa murder inquiry - after a man in his 40s had been detained before being released under investigation on Saturday. 

Ms Nessa left her home on Astell Road after arranging to meet a friend at The Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, south-east London, last Friday night but never made it. 

Police believe she was attacked in the busy Cator Park at around 8.30pm with her body being found by a member of the public almost 24 hours later near the OneSpace community centre, hidden under a pile of leaves.

But furious campaigners and a handful of MPs demanded that public spaces be made safer for women in the wake of a string of high-profile murders this year.

Reclaim These Streets, an organisation campaigning for the safety of women and girls which has organised a vigil for today, said: 'This is an epidemic of violence against women. Enough with reports, what is the actual plan to keep us safe and alive?' 

No one reported her missing after she failed to make the rendez-vous, said police, but her housemate has now spoken out on the horrifying ordeal and shared her unease.

She told the Guardian: 'I never thought something like this could happen to her. I had been texting her and it's not like her to not reply to my messages.

'I don't feel safe living here now.' 

Earlier, detectives had speculated whether the attack had been carried out by a stranger and were 'keeping an open mind' on the killer's motive. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry insisted the area remains 'safe for women' despite mounting pressure from women's safety campaigners who are urging officers to do more to protect them on Britain's streets.

He said: 'The streets are safe for women, I'd like to reassure the public around that, I'd like to make sure that people are free to walk around free from fear and my officers will make sure that that can take place.'  

Ms Nessa was attacked in the park at around 8.30pm, and her body found on Saturday near the OneSpace community centre hidden under a pile of leaves

Experts have sealed off large parts of the park as their murder investigation continues. Pictured above: forensics tent in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south east London, where the teacher was found dead

The Depot bar in Pegler Square, where Ms Nessa was due to go on a first date last Friday, according to her friend 

The primary school teacher, originally from Bedfordshire, is understood to have been just minutes from her home when she was attacked near the OneSpace Community Centre in Cator Park at around 8.30pm on Friday, September 17.  

Her body lay undiscovered for several hours because it was 'off the main park walkway', according to police. 

A post-mortem examination was inconclusive and further tests will now be carried out to establish a cause of death. 

'I don't feel safe': Sabina Nessa's housemate tells of her shock and fear as Met detectives warn teacher's killer 'could strike again' and fury grows over women's safety 

By Jacob Thorburn, Rory Tingle, Nick Fagge and Katie Weston for MailOnline 

The housemate of murdered primary school teacher Sabina Nessa has said she 'doesn't feel safe' living in the area after investigating detectives earlier warned the killer 'could strike again'.

The 28-year-old left her home on Astell Road and was on her way to a first date in The Depot Bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, south east London on Friday night but never made it.

Police understand she was attacked in a park at around 8.30pm, with her body being discovered by a member of the public almost 24 hours later near the OneSpace community centre hidden under a pile of leaves.

No one reported her missing after she failed to make the rendez-vous, said police, but her housemate has now spoken out on the horrifying ordeal and shared her unease.

She told the Guardian: 'I never thought something like this could happen to her. I had been texting her and it's not like her to not reply to my messages.

'I don't feel safe living here now.'   

Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry by the floral tributes at Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south London, near to the scene where the body of Ms Nessa was found

DCI Lawry (pictured centre) by the floral tributes at Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south London, near to the scene where the body of Ms Nessa was found

 Ms Nessa's sister took to social media to commemorate her, writing: 'My beautiful, talented & caring sister. My inspiration to always put myself first & never let anybody put me down

Detectives are investigating whether she was killed by a stranger, leaving locals fearful of returning to the usually busy park often packed with dog walkers and joggers.  

Parallels are being drawn to the horrific murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard in March, amid fresh fury that women could not walk through Britain's streets alone without fearing for their lives. 

And in June 6 last year, sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were stabbed to death in a Wembley park in a random attack by 19-year-old Danyal Hussein, who believed he was acting on the orders of a demon. 

Other women who live in the Kidbrooke area have also revealed they feel anxious when out alone - prompting one resident to offer to walk anyone home who does not feel safe in the community.

Women face an 'epidemic' of violence, campaigners warn as Jess Phillips says it is 'a scandal that women don't feel safe on the streets' 

By Claire Ellicot, Political Correspondent for the Daily Mail 

Women are dealing with an 'epidemic' of violence, politicians and campaigners warned yesterday as they lamented the lack of progress since the death of Sarah Everard.

The killing of Sabina Nessa, 28, in south London comes six months after Miss Everard's murder and a year after sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were stabbed to death in the capital.

Sarah Everard: Murdered in March this year 

Jess Phillips, Labour's spokesman for domestic violence and safeguarding, said that it was 'not safe' to be a woman.

She said 78 women had been killed in the UK since the death of 33-year-old Miss Everard in March and questioned the Government response.

'It is a scandal that women don't feel safe on the streets,' she said. 

'It's not safe to be a woman – whether that's in the workplace, school, university or home. There are too many examples every year.'

Referring to Miss Everard, who was kidnapped, raped and killed by Met policeman Wayne Couzens while walking home, the MP added: 'We can't keep having this. We can't keep having someone being murdered and then a pilot here and a review there.

'The British public now demand proper women's safety laws, legislation, resources and strategy to stop this. We can't just keep being sorry.'

She also demanded that the Government reclassify violence against women and girls as a 'serious crime' in line with terrorism and serious youth violence.

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were stabbed to death in Wembley last year 

Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, said: 'Sabina Nessa's murder in a park at 8.30pm is devastating. 

'Her murder is not a one-off but part of an epidemic of gendered violence. We demand justice for Sabina and safety for all women, on the streets and in our homes.'  

Campaigner Anna Birley, who founded the Reclaim These Streets movement, said yesterday: 'We often get told when the worst happens that the murder of a woman by a stranger in a public place is very rare and we are very safe.

'But the thing is, our lived experience of street harassment, cat-calling, a man exposing himself to us, tell us we're not safe, and murder is rarely the first crime someone commits.'

She said the Government must urgently fix the 'deep-rooted culture of misogyny in British culture' by reforming the criminal justice system.

The campaigner called for a higher conviction rate for rapists, anti-misogyny training for police, and lessons in schools to 'tackle toxic masculinity'.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned that women face an 'epidemic' of violence. 'I think this deserves the same priority as counter terrorism,' he said.

He added that schools should teach boys to respect girls, and misogyny should be made a hate crime. 

Last night, Ms Nessa's sister took to social media to commemorate her, writing: 'My beautiful, talented & caring sister. My inspiration to always put myself first & never let anybody put me down.

'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 #SabinaNessa'.

She added in a separate tweet: '3 sisters down to 2. Pls make dua for her. No mother or father should have to go through this, may Allah grant my parents ease.' 

Ms Nessa's cousin, Zubel Ahmed, described her as the 'most caring person, kindest, sweetest girl you could meet.'

He told the BBC: 'She's just got a beautiful soul, she's a caring person, she's left behind two cats. When we were at her house the other day the cats were looking for her. 

'As strange as that sounds it's just her nature to care for things, to care for people, for animals, and she's just going to be truly missed.' 

Detective Inspector Joe Garrity added: '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.' 

Det Insp Garrity added the investigation was making good progress and appealed for anyone with information to get in touch: 'We believe there are still others out there who may have information that could help.' 

Sabina had moved into the newly built Kidbroke Village last summer.

The friend said: 'It's a lovely place to live. The flat has a view of the duck pond and the park. 

'So you can see where Sabina died from the balcony. It's horrible.'  

Sabina's date failed to notify police that she failed to make the rendez-vous, police have confirmed.

DCS Lawry said: 'Sabine left her home address just before 8.30pm on Friday night.

'We understand that Sabina was planning on meeting a friend at The Depot pub.

'Her journey would have seen her walk through Cator Park. We believe as she walked through the park she was approached by an individual and fatally attacked.

'She was not reported missing and Sabina's body was sadly found by a member of the public at 5pm the following day.'

Downing Street said the Prime Minister's thoughts were with the family and friends of Ms Nessa. 

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: 'The Prime Minister's focus is on making sure that we make our streets safe for absolutely everybody, that's why we're investing the money we are in recruiting more police officers and which is why we, as I say, introduced the strategy when it comes to violence against women and girls earlier this year.'

He added that Metropolitan Police officers will be attending a planned vigil for Ms Nessa on Friday.

A man in his forties was arrested on suspicion of murder a few hours after her body was found by a dog walker. But yesterday he was released under investigation pending further inquiries.

On Thursday, a 38-year-old man from Lewisham was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He remains in custody at present.

Nessa's cousin Zubel Ahmed told ITV News the family remain 'inconsolable' and revealed she was just 'five minutes' from her own home.

He said: '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.' 

The case has parallels to the killing of Sarah Everard, who was  snatched off the street as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on March 3 by Met Police firearms officer Wayne Couzens.

Her body was found a week later in woodland near Ashford, Kent, just yards from land owned by Couzens, 48. She had been raped and strangled.

Six months later, and women are continuing to speak out about their lack of safety on British streets - with a recent poll finding as many as 48 per cent of women do not feel safe walking alone. 

Ms Nessa's death has sparked a wave of fury over women killed in public spaces in London this year - with campaigners urging action on the 'epidemic of violence' facing women.

Campaign group Our Streets Now said: 'Please, stop telling us we're overreacting. Sabina Ness, Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman. And these are just the names that we remember.

'Male violence is killing us. It's restricting our right to be free and equal citizens. We need change, now.' 

There was an outpouring of grief and anger today after yet another apparent murder of a woman walking alone at the hands of a stranger just months after Sarah Everard's horrific death

The Year 1 teacher had worked for just over a year at Rushey Green Primary School, three miles away in Catford. 

Before landing her first teaching job, she studied sociology at Greenwich University in south-east London and went on to complete a teaching postgraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire. 

Ms Nessa also had a qualification from Cambridge to teach English as a foreign language, and friends said she hoped to one day teach in the Middle East.

Today, London mayor Sadiq Khan called violence against women and girls an 'epidemic' and called on men to be 'allies'.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mr Khan said misogyny should be made a hate crime, and harassment in a public space against women should be a criminal offence.

He said: 'Between last year's International Women's Day and this year's International Women's Day, 180 women were killed at the hands of men across the country.

'We do have an epidemic when it comes to violence against women and girls. 

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

'As a school we are supporting each other through this very difficult time, and we will be providing specialist support to those who need it.' 

It came as residents told MailOnline they now fear leaving their homes after dark following Ms Nessa's death.  

Forensics teams dressed in blue overalls are pictured combing through the grassy murder scene in Cator Park, south east London

Forensic Officers in Cator Park, Kidbrooke, south London, near to the scene where the body of Ms Nessa was found

A heavy police presence remains in the area days after the body was recovered as increased patrols have been promised. Pictured: Police stand watch at the crime scene in Cator Park

Flowers left at the edge of the park where police have sealed off an area of meadow 

One resident aged 33 who only gave her named as Naey said: 'I've been wary of going out after dark every since I heard about them finding the body. 

'I use the park to come from the station as a shortcut. There's always people coming and going.

'It's scary and unnerving that it has happened so close to the main road. There surely must have been witnesses. I can't quite believe it.' 

George Williams, 41, who has operated his mobile fish and chip van Billingsgate Wrap regularly from the new Kidbrooke Village apartment complex over the last three years, said: 'This is absolutely shocking. 

'If it is a random attack by a stranger then it is extremely worrying for everyone who lives around here. I hope the police can catch whoever committed this terrible crime. 

'The park is very open and exposed but is usually pretty busy with joggers and walkers. Surely someone must have saw something.' 

A police officer pictured at Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south London. Officers revealed they were stepping up patrols and increasing their presence around the Kidbrooke Village neighbourhood for the next week

Sabina's friends embrace as they pay their respects at the entrance to Cator Park, south east London on Tuesday

On Friday, officers sealed off the area and were seen standing guard while investigators collected evidence

Officers revealed they were stepping up patrols and increasing their presence around the Kidbrooke Village neighbourhood for the next week.

Meanwhile, investigators told the Evening Standard that 'a number of crime scenes are in place' and a massive forensic inquiry is underway as they continue to investigate the alleged murder. 

A large section of Cator park between Cambert Way and the edge of the Kidbrooke Park Village housing development remains sealed off with police tape.    

The cordoned off area includes the One Space Community Centre, tennis courts and skatepark. 

A candlelit vigil in memory of the teacher is set to take place on Friday evening at Peglar Square. Organisers are encouraging people to bring their own candles to light as they pay respects to Ms Nessa. 

Reclaim These Streets, an organisation campaigning for the safety of women and girls which planned a vigil for Sarah Everard in March, said in a statement: 'We are angry and heartbroken to hear about the loss of yet another woman. 

'This is an epidemic of violence against women. Enough with reports, what is the actual plan to keep us safe and alive?' 

Safeguarding minister Rachel Maclean told the House of Commons: 'Every woman who loses their life is one woman too much and we are devastated to hear of the loss of the life of Sabina Nessa. Our hearts go out to the family.

'This is a Government that is passing legislation, setting out actions and tackling these horrific crimes and we are determined to see a reduction in them.' 


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