Sabina Nessa’s sister says offenders found guilty should be forced to attend court

The sister of murdered primary school teacher Sabina Nessa has urged the Home Secretary to force offenders to attend court for sentencing.

Jebina Yasmin Islam branded Ms Nessa’s killer Koci Selamaj, 36, a “coward” for refusing to come to the Old Bailey on Friday.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “I was frustrated. We were like: ‘He is such a coward, not facing up to what he has done’.

“It made me angry because I wanted him to hear our impact statement to show how much hurt he’s caused my family.”

Asked if she thought the court should have the power to force someone to attend, she said: “Definitely. I think it’s so important, the fact that they should be able to make the murderer, the perpetrator, come into court and listen.”

Ms Islam said those found guilty should not have the freedom to say they do not want to attend court.

Selamaj, an “evil” sexual predator, was jailed for at least 36 years for the murder of Ms Nessa.

Garage worker Selamaj targeted the 28-year-old as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, to meet a friend at 8.34pm on September 17.

CCTV footage captured the moment he ran up behind her and hit her over the head 34 times with a 2ft metal traffic triangle. He then strangled her before covering her body in grass.

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