Police were quizzing the man they believe to be the prime suspect in the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa
The suspect being quizzed by police over the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa is an Albanian delivery driver.
The 36-year-old man was arrested in a 3am Sunday morning raid on his home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, after police traced him to the property.
Forensic officers and detectives had been inside the small apartment since then.
Detectives tracked a car using CCTV and automatic number plate recognition back to the seaside resort from London.
A silver Nissan Micra was taken away by police for investigation in connection with the case.
He is now the third man held over murder, and remains in custody, after a 40-year-old and 38-year-old were arrested separately and both released under investigation.
One neighbour said on the suspect: ‘He is a very quiet person, he never talked. He was doing food delivery with takeaways in his car.
‘He is Albanian. I haven’t seen him for about a month. He would come in to the shop to top up his phone and electric.
‘He was always like a harmless person, his head was always down.’
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.
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
A Nissan Micra pictured at an Eastbourne police compound is believed to be connected with the murder investigation
Officers guard a flat in Eastbourne after a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murdering teacher Sabina Nessa, 28
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 on Sunday 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.
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
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
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.
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 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 on Sunday, 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 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.
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
A timeline of the Met Police’s Sabina Nessa murder investigation
Friday September 17, 8:30pm: Sabina Nessa, a teacher at the Rushey Green Primary School in Lewisham, sets out on a five-minute journey to meet a friend at a pub in Kidbrooke but never arrives.
Saturday September 18, 5.30pm: Ms Nessa’s body is found near the OneSpace community centre in Cator Park, Kidbrooke
Saturday evening: A man in his 40s is arrested on suspicion of murder at an address in Lewisham, and is later released under police investigation.
Monday September 20: A post-mortem carried out at Greenwich Mortuary proves to be inconclusive.
Monday, 9pm: The victim is identified publicly as Ms Nessa.
Wednesday September 22: Ms Nessa’s cousin Zubel Ahmed says that her family is ‘inconsolable’ following their loss. In an interview with the BBC, he says: ‘We are all truly devastated. Her parents are absolutely shocked, they’re inconsolable still and understandably so, to hear of their daughter being taken away from them by some cowardly man is just horrific.’
Thursday 23 September, 8pm: The Metropolitan Police announce that a second, 38-year-old man has been arrested at an address in Lewisham on suspicion of Ms Nessa’s murder and is being held in custody. The force also issues CCTV images of a man they want to speak to.
Friday 24 September, 7pm: A vigil will be held in Pegler Square, south east London, near to where Sabina’s body was found, in memory of the primary school teacher. The vigil will be held by Reclaim the Streets, a campaign group who said they were ‘angry and heartbroken’ about Sabina’s death.
Sunday 26 September, 3am: Police raid a house in Eastbourne and arrest a 36-year-old man on suspicion of murder. A silver Nissan Micra is taken away to a police compound for further investigation from a road a mile away.
Green primary school in Catford, south-east London, who wrote: ‘Thank you for being my teacher.’ On Sunday, Henry Lansana, 45, of Sydenham, left a card for Miss Nessa, who he said was in his friendship group.
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.
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.’