City banker guilty of murdering '˜high class escort' Christina Abbotts in attack in Sussex
A city banker who bludgeoned a Sussex woman to death on her birthday has been found guilty of murder.
The trial of Zahid Naseem came to and end today after jurors convicted him of murder after just two hours and 40 minutes.
Naseem – who has two young children – will be sentenced tomorrow at Lewes Crown Court.
Following the verdict, Christina’s family paid tribute to their ‘beautiful and loving’ daughter.
He had been standing trial for the last two weeks at the same court.
Naseem, 48, from Amersham, had denied murder and claimed he was acting in self-defence. The trial heard that Naseem met Christina as part of her secret life as a ‘high class escort’. He told his trial that Christina had started strangling him and he had struck her to defend himself, and then possibly lost control. However it appears the jury did not believe this, and rejected his defences of self-defence and loss of control. Naseem was found guilty of murder by unanimous verdict.
Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heater said: “Christina was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her which has been tragically cut short.
“My thoughts are with her friends and family who have listened to the details of this case and remained dignified throughout. “Zahid Naseem, after being treated in hospital, was open about how he knew Christina and the nature of their relationship which aided our investigation.
“However he always denied any intent to kill Christina and said he had no recollection of how it happened after drinking alcohol and taking drugs. “His actions that night have impacted not only on Christina’s family but also had a huge impact on his own. They all now need to rebuild their lives. “I hope the trial has given Christina’s family some answers and has brought some kind of closure for them.” MORE FROM THE TRIAL: Watch city banker ‘play acting’ at being unconscious while Christina Abbotts lies dead in the next room