City Banker Claims He Killed 29-Year-Old Escort In Self-Defence

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Christina Abbotts
A City banker accused of killing an escort with a pestle told a court he acted in self-defence while she strangled him during a sex game.
Zahid Naseem, 48, denies bludgeoning Christina Abbotts to death in May. Abbotts was found dead on her 29th birthday after being struck 13 times on the back of the head at a flat in Crawley, West Sussex, while housesitting for a friend, the BBC reported.
Naseem is accused of intentionally striking Abbotts with the kitchen utensil during an attack fuelled by champagne and cocaine. Giving evidence at Lewes Crown Court on Monday, he admitted inflicting the injuries on Abbotts for the first time, but claimed it was self-defence. Naseem said he did "everything possible" to stop her from strangling him. He previously claimed he woke up to find Abbotts dead and had "no idea" what happened.
The court heard how Abbotts, who lived in London, secretly listed her services on while telling relatives she worked in IT. She listed BDSM on her profile under services she provided.
Naseem said Abbotts suggested strangulation would be "fun" after trying it with other clients. "While it was still in the silly stage, I didn’t have any issue with it. At some stage, she did hold my neck and she didn’t let go." After trying to push her off, he said he believed he "was being strangled to death".
Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani dismissed Naseem's evidence as "a pack of lies" and said: "You carried on relentlessly and you bludgeoned her to death."
The trial coincides with the release of the Femicide Census of women and girls murdered by men, a report compiled by Women’s Aid and the campaigner Karen Ingala Smith. It reveals that 139 women were killed by men in 2017, with 40% of cases involving 'overkilling' – where the perpetrator's force and/or methods was greater than that required to kill the victim.
Three-quarters (76%, 105) of women were killed by someone they knew, such as a colleague, neighbour or friend, or a male family member. Nearly half (46%, 64) of the women were killed by their current or former intimate partner.
"Time and time again, we hear of cases where a woman has been killed by a man as an 'isolated incident'; yet the latest Femicide Census report shows yet again that this is not the case," said Women's Aid chief executive Katie Ghose. "The majority of these cases are not isolated incidents, there are too many similarities in the circumstances where women are killed by men."
Commenting on the finding that perpetrators used excessive violence to kill the victim in four in 10 cases, Ghose said: "Despite the extreme level of fatal male violence being used against women, it is clear that not enough is being done to protect women from men’s violence and prevent more women’s lives being taken."
Women's Aid is calling on the government to ensure its domestic abuse bill, due to be published this week, delivers "both the legislation and the resources needed to transform the response to domestic abuse".
Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of nia, a London-based domestic and sexual violence charity, said: "The use of excessive violence or desecration after death challenges narratives of momentary loss of control that are especially prevalent in relation to domestic violence.
"Instead it highlights the brutality and misogyny that men bring to their violence against women whether dead or alive and challenges benign rationales given by men which are often accepted and repeated in media coverage of the killings of women."
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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