Sabina Nessa: Campaigners say ‘male violence is killing us’ as police probe teacher’s murder

·4-min read
Sabina Nessa, 28, whose body was found near the OneSpace community centre at Kidbrooke Park Road in Greenwich on Saturday (Met Police/PA) (PA Media)
Sabina Nessa, 28, whose body was found near the OneSpace community centre at Kidbrooke Park Road in Greenwich on Saturday (Met Police/PA) (PA Media)

Campaigners have demanded action to tackle violence against women as police investigate the murder of a “brilliant” primary school teacher killed as she walked through her local park on her way home.

Sabina Nessa, who taught in Catford, was found dead in Cator Park near her home in Kidbrooke, south east London on Saturday.

The 28-year-old, who had worked helping non-English speakers develop their language skills, was eventually found hidden under a pile of leaves by a dog walker.

Her body was found near the One Space community centre on Kidbrooke Park Road.

Campaigners and MPs have reacted in horror at the murder.

The body of Sabina Nessa was found hidden under a pile of leaves by a dog walker (HANDOUT)
The body of Sabina Nessa was found hidden under a pile of leaves by a dog walker (HANDOUT)

Our Streets Now, which seeks an end to public sexual harassment, said Ms Nessa joins a growing list of women murdered in London’s public spaces in recent months.

In a statement on Wednesday, the campaign group said: “It’s why we don’t walk where we want, when we want.

“It’s why we tense at the sound of a car pulling up, or of a man crossing the street towards us.

“It’s why 1 in 5 girls have avoided their place of education.

“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.”

Sisters Uncut, the group that held a vigil for Ms Everard despite a police banning order, leading to high-profile arrests, wrote on Twitter: “Another day in the UK, another woman murdered at the hands of a violent man.

“Sabina Nessa was walking home when she was killed and her body left in a public place.

“Sabina’s story is harrowing and heartbreaking, our love and rage goes out to her family and loved ones.

“We refuse to be trapped in this cycle of grief and we will not rest until women and non-binary people are safe and unafraid!”

On Wednesday, Labour MP Harriet Harman called on the Government to take immediate action to tackle the “epidemic of male violence against women and girls”.

Speaking in the Commons, she said: “We need more of a sense of urgency. In just the last few days, there have been more horrific killings of women. Terri Harris in Sheffield killed together with three children. In Greenwich, primary school teacher Sabina Ness who was only 28-years-old.”

Ms Nessa was brought up with her three sisters in Sandy, Bedfordshire, and her father worked as a chef at an Indian restaurant.

Neighbours described her father as “a broken man” after he knocked on their doors to tell them of the devastating news of his daughter’s death.

One said: “He looked in total shock, like a broken man... He said ‘my daughter has been killed’.

“He looked terrible as if the blood had been drained from him. We have seen her grow up. She lived in London but regularly came back. They are a close family.”

Another said: “A lot of family and friends have been going in and out of their house and our hearts go out to them. The family are lovely.”

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

“We are devastated by Sabina’s tragic death. She was a brilliant teacher,” the head teacher said.

“She was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils. She had so much life ahead of her and so much more to give.

“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.”

A man, aged in his 40s, arrested on suspicion of murder has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Police are also asking for people to check any dashcam footage in case they have inadvertently captured something that may be of interest.

Patrols remain in place in the area and other open spaces across Lewisham and Greenwich.

A vigil has been organised in the Kidbrooke community in memory of Ms Nessa on Friday. St James’ Church Kidbrooke will open its doors the same day to offer prayer to those affected by the tragic incident.

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.

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