Hundreds mourn slain London teacher Sabina Nessa at vigil, denounce violence against women
2nd high-profile killing this year of a woman in U.K. capital fuels safety concerns
Hundreds gathered Friday in southeast London to light candles and to mourn for slain primary school teacher Sabina Nessa while demanding an end to violence against women.
Her death is the second high-profile killing of a young woman this year in London, and is fuelling concerns that women aren't safe on the streets of Britain's capital.
Nessa, 28, was found dead in Kidbrooke, southeast London on Sept. 17. Detectives believe she was attacked during what should have been a five-minute walk through a park a few minutes from her home to meet a friend at a nearby pub.
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, expressed her sorrow in a tweet signed with her initial to indicate it came from her personally and wasn't posted by a staff member. She had also offered personal condolences after the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who was abducted and killed in March as she walked home in another part of the city.
"I am saddened by the loss of another innocent young woman on our streets," the duchess tweeted. "My thoughts are with Sabina's family and friends, and all those who have been affected by this tragic event."
The primary school teacher's family made an impassioned plea for women to "keep safe" as people prepared to pay their respects at Friday's vigil.
"What happened to Sabina is every parent's nightmare and every woman's worst fear," London Mayor Sadiq Khan said ahead of the vigil.
"Her death is a tragedy, and I stand with the community in Kidbrooke and Londoners across our city, united in grief and united in our determination that justice is done."
Police on Friday released CCTV footage of a man who was seen along the route Nessa took on the night she was killed, asking anyone who recognizes him to contact them immediately.
Another man arrested in connection with the investigation was released Friday.
Sabina Nessa Murder: Can you help identify this man?<br><br>📸 Image shows a man walking in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke on the evening Sabina was attacked - Friday 17 September. <br><br>❗️ Any information could be vital - please share this post.<br><br>📞 0208 721 4266<br><br>📲 <a href="https://t.co/vAehNxCTll">https://t.co/vAehNxCTll</a> <a href="https://t.co/u1MuCDcLM4">pic.twitter.com/u1MuCDcLM4</a>—@metpoliceuk
Nessa's death came just six months after Everard's slaying shocked the country. An off-duty police officer has admitted to raping and killing her.
Thousands took to the streets to mourn Everard's death and denounce violence against women, clashing with police who sought to enforce COVID-19 restrictions limiting large gatherings that were still in place at the time.
By contrast, Friday night's vigil, held near where Nessa's body was found, was peaceful.
Khan has described violence against women as a national "epidemic." He said more than 180 women have been killed by men across England from March 2020.
Halima Begum, a friend of Nessa's family, urged those attending the vigil to show solidarity for women across London.
"All we can do is hope for no more horrendous instances like this, and the countless others these past few months."