Sabina Nessa: Vigil to be held for teacher found murdered in London park

Twenty-eight-year-old’s body found hidden under pile of leaves by dog walker in Cator Park, Kidbrooke

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 23 September 2021 09:47
Man arrested on suspicion of murder after woman’s body found near community centre in London

A candlelight vigil is to be held in memory of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa who was found murdered in a south London park.

The 28-year-old’s body was found hidden under a pile of leaves by a dog walker in Cator Park, Kidbrooke, on Saturday.

She is believed to have been attacked at about 8.30pm on Friday but was not discovered until 5.30pm the following day near the One Space community centre.

The Metropolitan Police is treating Ms Nessa’s death as a murder, however a post-mortem examination carried out at Greenwich Mortuary was inconclusive.

A man in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of murder but has since been released pending further investigation.

Ms Nessa was a Year One teacher at Rushney Green Primary School in Catford, where she had worked for more than a year.

She lived with her father, a chef at an Indian restaurant, in Lewisham.

A vigil organised by the Kidbrooke community in memory of Ms Nessa will be held at Pegler Square, Kidbrooke, at 7pm on Friday, while St James’ Church Kidbrooke will open its doors the same day to offer prayer to those affected by the tragic incident.

Anyone unable to attend the vigil in person is encouraged to light a candle on their doorstep at the same time.

Annie Gibbs, one of the organisers, wrote on Twitter: “As a community of residents in Kidbrooke Village we wish to stand in solidarity against violence & acknowledge #SabinaNessa life with respect.”

Reclaim These Streets, an organisation campaigning for the safety of women and girls which planned a vigil for Sarah Everard in March, said: “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?”

Lisa Williams, headteacher at the school where Ms Nessa worked, described her as a “brilliant teacher” who had “so much life ahead of her and so much more to give”.

“She was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils,” said Ms Williams, adding: “We are devastated by Sabina’s tragic death.”

Police have launched fresh appeals for information following Ms Nessa’s murder and a police presence remains in place across open spaces in Lewisham and Greenwich.

Detectives are requesting anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour in the park on the evening of Friday 17 September to come forward.

Anyone with information or any witnesses are being asked to call police on 101, reference 5747/18. To remain anonymous please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.