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Teacher Sabina Nessa, 28, 'was on her way to a first date' in the pub when ....

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10017997/Murdered-Greenwich-primary-school-teacher-minutes-home-killed-family-claim.html

Teacher Sabina Nessa, 28, 'was on her way to a first date' in the pub when she was 'murdered by a stranger' during five-minute walk through the park as detectives warn 'killer could strike again'

    EXCLUSIVE: Sabina Nessa, 28, arranged to go on a first date at the Depot Bar in Kidbrooke Village last Friday
    Police said she left her home and walked through Cator Park, where she was attacked at around 8.30pm
    No one reported her missing after she failed to make the rendez-vous and her body was found on Saturday
    Det Insp Joe Garrity said: 'Sabina's journey should have taken just over five minutes but she never made it'
    Tragedy comes amid growing anger about violence against women following murder of Sarah Everard, 33 

By Nick Fagge and Rory Tingle, Home Affairs Correspondent and Jacob Thorburn and Katie Weston For Mailonline

Published: 18:36, 22 September 2021 | Updated: 13:46, 23 September 2021

Primary school teacher Sabina Nessa was on her way to a first date in the pub when she was murdered during a five-minute walk through the park, MailOnline can reveal.  The 28-year-old left her home on Astell Road after arranging to meet a man at The Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, south-east London, last Friday night but she never made it.  She was attacked in a park at around 8.30pm, and her body found by a member of the public on Saturday 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.  A friend told MailOnline: 'Sabina was going on a date on Friday night when she left her flat. It was a first date. She was going to meet this guy in the local pub, The Depot.  I don't know whether they knew each other before or they had met online but I know it was a first date.'

The revelation comes as Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry says police are concerned the killer could strike again as investigations into her murder continue, but added there was nothing to suggest it would happen.  Detectives are investigating whether she was killed by a stranger who is still at large, but insist the streets of the capital are safe for women and that officers are listening to concerns.  Mr Lawry 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.'

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.'

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

Detective Inspector Joe Garrity said: '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.'

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

The friend described Sabina as a 'lovely, bubbly person' with 'loads of personality'.  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 was murdered 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.  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 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. There are fears she may have been murdered by a stranger.  A post-mortem examination was inconclusive and further tests will now be carried out to establish a cause of death.  The case has chilling connection 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.'

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.  Miss Nessa also had a qualification from Cambridge to teach English as a foreign language.  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.  I think us men have got to be allies in addressing this issue.'

Yesterday, Mr Khan said he was 'heartbroken' at news of her passing and tweeted: 'I'm heartbroken by the death of Sabina Nessa. My thoughts are with her family, friends and the whole community.  I urge anyone who was in the area to contact the Met any information will be vital in the investigation and help bring the perpetrator to justice.  Women and girls deserve to feel safe at all times, in every part of our city, and I remain committed and determined to making our city safer.'

Headteacher at her Lewisham school, Lisa Williams, said yesterday: 'We are devastated by Sabina's tragic death. She was a brilliant teacher; she was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils.' 

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.'

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.'

'This is an epidemic of violence against women': Vigil to take place tomorrow amid growing fury 

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.  Teacher Sabina Nessa, 28, is believed to have been killed in Cator Park, south-east London, while making a five-minute walk to meet a friend at a pub at around 8.30pm last Friday.  The case has chilling connection to the murder of marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, who was snatched off the street as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham on March 3 by Met Police firearms officer Wayne Couzens.  And in June 6 last year, sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were stabbed to death in a Wembley park by 19-year-old Danyal Hussein, who believed he was acting on the orders of a demon.  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?'

A candlelit vigil in memory of Sabina Nessa is set to take place tomorrow evening at Peglar Square. A similar event in memory of Ms Everard was broken up by Met officers enforcing Covid rules, prompting widespread anger.   An inquiry by the police watchdog found officers had used proportionate force, but critics said their heavy-handed approach was inappropriate given the purpose of the event and its peaceful nature.  Diana Award CEO Tessy Ojo CBE tweeted: 'Her name is Sabina Nessa. She was 28 years old. Like #SarahEverard she was murdered in London.  Please be outraged because violence against one is violence against all women. Our girls and daughters deserve safety, anywhere and everywhere.'

Mandu Reid: 'Another woman murdered in a senseless act of brutal violence. Sabina Nessa: say her name. She lived, worked and was murdered within a short radius of where I live in Lewisham. This could've been me or my sister.'

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.  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.' 

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