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Police were quizzing the man they believe to be the prime suspect in the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa
Police were quizzing the man they believe to be the prime suspect in the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa on Sunday night after a dramatic 3am raid.
In a major development just over a week after her killing, officers traced a 36-year-old man to an address more than an hour away from the scene.
After an urgent appeal to locate a suspect captured on CCTV, officers made a breakthrough in the case and arrested a man on suspicion of murder.
It can now be revealed that detectives had been following the man for several hours on Saturday afternoon before arresting him at an address in Eastbourne, East Sussex, at 3am yesterday.
The arrest followed a huge police operation in which the suspect’s movements were traced using CCTV and automatic number plate recognition.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said Miss Nessa’s family had been told about the arrest and were being supported by specialist officers.
It comes just days after police issued a desperate appeal for a suspect and a vehicle captured on CCTV close to where 28-year-old Miss Nessa was ambushed and hit over the head.
In the footage, a balding man is seen clutching a red ‘reflective’ object before trying to conceal it up his sleeve.
Detectives said they were keeping ‘an open mind’ as to whether it was used to attack Miss Nessa. Police are no longer looking for the man in the footage.
Meanwhile, Miss Nessa’s family yesterday visited the scene where the University of Greenwich graduate was murdered. Miss Nessa’s older sister Jebina Yasmin Islam – who broke down at Friday’s vigil as she spoke of her family’s loss – read some of the hundreds of tributes at the scene.
Miss Nessa was last seen heading out on a five-minute journey for a first date in Kidbrooke, south-east London, at 8.30pm on Friday September 17.
Detectives had issued an appeal for information about a mystery man who was captured on CCTV in Pegler Square, south east London, on the night Sabina, 28, was attacked
Sabina Nessa, 28, originally from Bedfordshire, disappeared on September 17 as she left home to meet a man for a first date at a local pub and her body was found the following afternoon
A Nissan Micra pictured at an Eastbourne police compound is believed to be connected with the murder investigation
Three men arrested in suspicion of Sabina Nessa’s murder
Arrest One (Suspect A):
On the same day Sabina was found, 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 on September 24.
Arrest Two (Suspect B):
A 38-year-old man was arrested on Thursday at an address in Lewisham in connection with the murder.
He was of has also been released under investigation.
Arrest Three (Suspect C):
Police arrested a 36-year-old man in a ‘significant development’ in the investigation on Sunday, September 26.
The man was arrested at around 3am at an address in East Sussex and taken into police custody.
Detectives have recovered grainy CCTV footage which they believe is of the attack.
The teacher’s body is thought to have been carried into Cator Park before being hidden under leaves, 200 yards from her home. She lay undiscovered until being found by a dog-walker at 5.30pm the next day.
Detectives are still desperately trying to work out whether her killer had ever come into contact with her or was a stranger.
The murder has reignited a debate about the safety of women. It comes just six months after marketing manager Sarah Everard, 33, was abducted and murdered by a serving Met police officer.
Annie Gibbs, who organised Friday’s vigil and accompanied Miss Nessa’s sister to the scene yesterday, said the focus should remain on Miss Nessa and not politics.
‘At the moment, we need to focus on the fact there is a family who has lost someone. Changes will come later,’ she said.
‘All this political stuff and organisations capitalising on it is just really not needed right now and it is wrong at this time. It is too soon. Barely a week has passed. This is a time for us to remember Sabina, not blaming or politics. Let’s respect the family. Let’s focus on Sabina and her loved ones.’
Tributes continued to pour in yesterday for Miss Nessa, who was born in Bedford to Bangladeshi parents. Hundreds of tributes – including a bouquet left on behalf of the Duchess of Cambridge – have been left at the scene.
They also include one from a Year 1 pupil at Rushey Green primary school in Catford, south-east London, who wrote: ‘Thank you for being my teacher.’ Yesterday, Henry Lansana, 45, of Sydenham, left a card for Miss Nessa, who he said was in his friendship group.
Ms Nessa’s family, including a woman understood to be her sister Jebina, visited the scene where the primary school teacher was allegedly murdered to look at the hundreds of tributes left in her memory
He said: ‘From the few times I was with her within the same group, I instantly realised what a kind and thoughtful person she was. My mother and father were both teachers and Sabina had those same caring qualities you need to work with children. She was just such a warm, beautiful girl and you can see she meant so much to so many people…’
Two men, aged 38 and 40, were separately arrested on suspicion of murder but were subsequently released under investigation.
Ms Nessa’s family, including a woman understood to be her sister Jebina, visited the scene where the primary school teacher was allegedly murdered to look at the hundreds of tributes left in her memory.
Jebina collected a white box with a picture of Ms Nessa on it from vigil organiser Annie Gibbs. It had been used after the memorial to collect notes of condolence written by attendees.
CCTV footage which has not yet been released by police reportedly shows her attacker strike her over the head with an object before carrying her over his shoulder towards the park where her body was later discovered.
Jebina collected a white box with a picture of Ms Nessa on it from vigil organiser Annie Gibbs. It had been used after the memorial to collect notes of condolence written by attendees
More than 500 well-wishers, including Ms Nessa’s sister Jebina, gathered in Pegler Square for a vigil on Friday, organised by campaign group Reclaim the Streets, which said it is ‘angry and heartbroken’ about her death
Vigil organiser Ms Gibbs, who shared an emotional embrace with Ms Nessa’s sister, said of Friday’s service: ‘I think it really honoured Sabina. It was very respectful. I believe there was possibly as many as 3,000 people who attended which was incredible.
‘Everyone came there with the same heart. They just wanted the family to feel loved and supported and that was achieved. We really wanted to make sure we got the message out there that we want justice and this is not something that we expect in our community. But it’s not going to divide us.
‘We’re going to keep fighting until we find who has done this. I was really delighted this morning to see an arrest has been made.’
Ms Gibbs fears some people are forgetting there is a family grieving losing a much loved sister and daughter at the core of a case promoting global discussion about wider issues.
She added: ‘At the moment, we need to focus on the fact there is a family who has lost someone. Changes will come later.
‘All this political stuff and organisations capitalising on it is just really not needed right now and it is wrong at this time. It is too soon. Barely a week has passed.
‘This is a time for us to remember Sabina, not blaming or politics. Let’s respect the family. Let’s focus on Sabina and her loved ones.’
Source: Daily Mail