A man appeared in court accused of the “premeditated and predatory” murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa.
Garage worker Koci Selamaj, 36, allegedly attacked 28-year-old Ms Nessa as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on her way to meet a friend on September 17.
It is alleged he used a 2ft long weapon to strike her repeatedly before carrying her away unconscious.
The body of Ms Nessa, who taught a year one class at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford, was found nearly 24 hours later covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.
A post-mortem examination has yet to confirm the exact cause of her death but the attack was said to have involved “extreme violence”.
Selamaj, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was arrested in the seaside town in the early hours of Sunday and charged with her murder on Monday.
A light-coloured Nissan Micra was seized in a leafy residential street about half-a-mile away.
Selamaj, who is originally from Albania, appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday before the Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft QC.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told the court it was a “premeditated and predatory” stranger attack and there was no suggestion the defendant knew Ms Nessa.
During the hearing, the defendant, who has already indicated he will deny murder, spoke to confirm his name and date of birth before a timetable for the case was set.
Dressed in a prison-issue green and yellow top, he appeared in court by video link from Wormwood Scrubs assisted by an Albanian interpreter in court.
Judge Lucraft set a plea hearing for December 16 and remanded the defendant into custody.
Hundreds of mourners attended a candlelit vigil in memory of Ms Nessa, on 24 September, including tearful relatives.
Jebina Yasmin Islam, Ms Nessa’s sister, broke down as she addressed crowds to pay tribute.
She said: “Words cannot describe how we are feeling, this feels like we are stuck in a bad dream and can’t get out of it – our world is shattered, we are simply lost for words.
“No family should go through what we are going through.”
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