Sabina Nessa - Met Police handout photo
Sabina Nessa was “absolutely dedicated to her pupils”, her head teacher said

A vigil will be held on Friday evening for Sabina Nessa, the teacher who was murdered in Kidbrooke last week.

Police believe that the 28-year-old, who worked at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford, was killed in Cator Park, on the Kidbrooke Village development, at about 8.30pm last Friday. Her body was not found until the following day.

The Metropolitan Police said yesterday that there was a “short delay” because her body, which was found near the OneSpace community centre, was “not in the main walkway”.

The vigil, which has been organised by local people, will be held at 7pm in Pegler Square, at the centre of the new development. Those who cannot attend are being asked to light a candle on their doorstep at the same time.

On Friday night, we will join Sabina Nessa’s community in solidarity against violence against women and to acknowledge her life. Join us in Peglar Square at 7pm. If you can’t join in person, please light a candle at 7pm on your doorstep.

RT and share. Say her name. #SabinaNessa

— Reclaim These Streets (@ReclaimTS) September 21, 2021

Nessa’s head teacher at Rushey Green, Lisa Williams, said the school community had been “devastated” by her loss. “She was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils,” she added. “She had so much life ahead of her and so much more to give and her loss is desperately sad.”

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

Police have pledged to hold high-visibility patrols both in and around Cator Park as well as in other open spaces across Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs.

Officers have asked anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area last Friday evening to call them on 020 8721 4266 or 101, or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

In the House of Commons this afternoon, local MPs paid tribute to Nessa and called for more action on violence against women and girls.

Eltham MP Clive Efford said that Nessa’s murder “highlights the growing problem of violence against women and girls”, and called on the government to accept the recommendation of a recent report which said that tackling misogynistic violence should be given the same priority as the fight against terrorism.

“The time has come for tackling violence against women and girls, and to prioritise it and give it the resources it demands,” Efford said.

Lewisham East MP Janet Daby, whose constituency covers Rushey Green school, said: “Sabina Nessa had so much left to give our community. Her life was brutally taken, like so many before her, by misogynistic violence. How many women’s lives must be stolen before this government takes serious action?”

Rachel Maclean, a Home Office minister, insisted the government was prioritising violence against women and girls and offered “our deepest sympathies” to Nessa’s family and friends.

Greenwich Council deputy leader Denise Scott-McDonald said: “We are appalled by the senseless murder of Sabina, a much-loved teacher who was killed while simply walking home through a park. This brutal and terrible attack reminds us why tackling violence against all women needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda.”

The council said it was “developing a new women’s public safety plan to improve how we understand and tackle the causes and consequences of violence against women”.

Updated at 2pm to include today’s comments from Clive Efford, Janet Daby and Denise Scott-McDonald.

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