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Sabina Nessa murder investigation: Vigil to be held in Margate in memory of teacher

A vigil will be held in Kent in memory of teacher Sabina Nessa - who police believe was murdered during a five-minute walk to meet a friend at a pub.

Officers investigating the killing of the 28-year-old say she left her home on Astell Road and walked through Cator Park last Friday towards The Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, when she was attacked.

Her body was found near the OneSpace community centre in Kidbrooke Park Road in the Royal Borough of Greenwich on Saturday.

She is thought to have been killed in the park, with her body dumped nearby.

“Sabina never arrived at the pub and is thought to have been murdered as she walked through the park,” the Met said.

A post-mortem examination, carried out on Monday, was inconclusive.

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.”

A vigil has been organised in Margate tomorrow to coincide with one organised by the Kidbrooke community for those who cannot make it down to London.

The vigil will be held at the steps in Margate's Old Town. Picture: Geoff Orton
The vigil will be held at the steps in Margate's Old Town. Picture: Geoff Orton

It will be held at 7pm at the Old Town Steps near the seafront.

Feminine healing guide Naomi Gale, 33, has organised the vigil after she was left “angry” by the killing and frustrated over the lack of media coverage over the past week.

"When Sarah [Everard] went missing, the media coverage was huge and obviously [Wayne Couzens] lived in Kent as well," she said. "We were all listening, we wanted to know the outcome, we wanted to support and we all felt it as women that lose in that way.

“I can’t understand how we have got to the point where it’s almost a week and we hadn’t heard about this. How could that have happened?

“I think it’s taken social media to put it into the headlight and that’s pretty shocking.

Naomi Gale has organised a vigil in memory of Sabina Nessa. Picture: Naomi Gale
Naomi Gale has organised a vigil in memory of Sabina Nessa. Picture: Naomi Gale

“My husband gets the BBC breaking news bulletins [on his phone] and that didn’t come up. [Princess] Beatrice’s baby did but what about the bigger news here?

She added: "I feel the media have deliberately hidden or not put into the forefront of people’s minds this situation.

"A vigil will just give us time to acknowledge feelings that have come with that, celebrate [Sabina] and honour her in a way Sarah [Everard] was."

DI Garrity added the investigation was making good progress and said: “We believe there are still others out there who may have information that could help.

“If you think you saw Sabina or any suspicious behaviour in or around the park on Friday evening please speak to us.”

A man in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of murder the day after Ms Nessa's body was found but he was later released under further investigation.

Det Ch Supt Trevor Lawry said at a press conference today police are investigating whether the teacher was killed by a stranger.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said violence against women was a national “epidemic”.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, 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.”

Responding to Mr Khan's comments, Mrs Gale said: "I think there is still a deep-seated issue in society with the masculine overriding the feminine and we are ignorant of what still goes on with the men in this country overpowering women."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0208 721 4266 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

More details of the Margate vigil can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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