Sabina Nessa killer’s estranged wife ‘feared for life after he choked her’

The former partner of Koci Selamaj, who was convicted of the murder of teacher Sabina Nessa in London, has reportedly told how she feared for her life after he tried to choke her

Ionela Gherghisan with her estranged husband Koci Selamaj
Ionela Gherghisan with her estranged husband Koci Selamaj

The estranged wife of the man convicted of Sabina Nessa’s murder has told how she was “afraid for my life” after he tried to “strangle” her three times, it is said.

Ionela Gherghisan told how her former partner Koci Selamaj became violent in the weeks before he killed Ms Nessa, but she said she never thought he would continue killing.

She said she moved out of the family home last August after he attacked her and they had little contact until the day he murdered wife Nessa – after revealing his desire for sex in the Grand Hotel car park in Eastbourne, where she worked.

Ms Gherghisan, who lived in Eastbourne but has now returned to Romania, reportedly said he attacked her last August after missing her calls while at work.

Selamaj was convicted of the murder of teacher Sabina Nessa



“There were times when I was afraid to stay in the same house with him because I was afraid for my life,” Ms Gherghisan told the Daily Mail.

“He tried to strangle me three times, but the last time I was really scared. He came home from work, put his hands around my neck and yelled, ‘Why didn’t you answer the phone?’ I lay in bed shocked. He sat up and let go of me, but he didn’t apologize. I was his first victim, but something stopped him from killing me.”

On the day he wanted to kill Mrs. Nessa, she said that he was acting strangely, he reported Daily Mail.

She said: “He was very anxious and impatient and I had never seen him like that. I saw a bottle of alcohol in his car and could smell it on his breath. He wasn’t drunk, but he was acting very strange. He tried to have sex with me in his car in the parking lot but I said no so he left and I went back to work.”

Selamaj, 36, drove to London from Eastbourne to carry out the attack on Ms Nessa.

The garage worker was lurking in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south east London, where he targeted 28-year-old wife Nessa when she stopped by on her way to visit a friend on September 17 last year.

The court heard Selamaj killed wife Nessa after she was spurned by his estranged wife


metropolitan police)

CCTV footage captured the moment Selamaj attacked Ms Nessa by hitting her 34 times in the head with a 2ft metal traffic triangle before carrying her unconscious onto a grassy embankment.

The body of Ms Nessa, who taught a first grade class at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford, was found near a community center in the park almost 24 hours later.

Selamaj, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was arrested in the seaside town and charged days later in her death.

In February, the Albanian national pleaded guilty to murder.

Ms Nessa’s parents, Abdur Rouf and Azibun Nessa, said in a statement: “They had no right to take her away from us in such a cruel way.

A court sketch by Selamaj appearing via video link from Wormwood Scubs



“The moment the police officer came to our house and told her she was found dead, our world shattered into pieces.

“How could you do that to an innocent girl who was walking past minding her own business.

“You are not human, you are an animal.”

Principal Lisa Williams described the “devastating” impact on Ms Nessa’s school.

Speaking of her class of 30, she said: “For the rest of their lives, these little kids will never be able to understand why someone murdered their teacher and the world they live in is not safe for them to play in a park . “

Justice Sweeney said the “unavoidable” sentence would be life imprisonment starting at 30 years.

He adjourned the verdict until 10 a.m. on Friday.

The defendant’s Nissan Micra was tracked by ANPR cameras and cellphone location evidence on the day he traveled to London.

Sabina Nessa’s sister Jebina Yasmin Islam wipes away a tear in front of the Old Bailey



He used his bank card at Sainsbury’s to buy a rolling pin, chilli flakes and an energy drink.

He rejected the rolling pin as a weapon in favor of the traffic triangle he was supposed to use to attack Ms. Nessa.

He entered Cator Park just after 8pm and waited half an hour before Ms. Nessa arrived on her way to The Depot Bar where she was due to meet a friend.

In grainy footage played in court, Selamaj was seen running behind wife Nessa and using the 2ft traffic triangle to launch a savage attack.

When he carried them up a grassy hill, they went out of shot for 20 minutes.

Before leaving the park, he picked up pieces of the warning triangle and used wet wipes to clean a park bench near where he launched his first attack.

On the way back to the south coast, Selamaj stopped at Tunbridge Wells in Kent and dumped the warning triangle in the River Teise.

Police said Selamaj appeared “calm and collected” when he was arrested.

When warned by a translator, Selamaj said, “What will happen if I open up now and say everything?”

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