Businessman bludgeoned 'high-class' escort to death on birthday and pretended to be unconscious when the police arrived
48-year-old Zahid Naseen was found in bed with Christina Abbotts' body in Crawley after her friends called authorities when she did not turn up for her own birthday party
A court heard that a father-of-two was responsible for bludgeoning a 29-year-old high-class escort to death with a pestle in the UK recently. The accused, 48-year-old Zahid Naseem, was found in bed with Christina Abbotts' body in Crawley after her friends called authorities when she did not turn up for her own birthday party. The Lewes Crown Court heard on December 11 that the sex worker was hit on the back of the head 13 times with the black object and was possibly strangled as well. A pestle is normally used with a mortar to grind ingredients into powder or paste.
The Sun reported that Abbotts had studied in Cirencester and Oxford and was advertising her services under the name of Tilly Pexton on Adultwork.com.
The young woman had been housesitting at an apartment for a friend of hers who was traveling. She was supposed to attend her own birthday party in London on the day she was killed.
Naseem is a freelance financial consultant who had been working for Toronto Dominion Bank's office in London. He denied being involved with Abbotts' murder which took place between May 25 and 26 this year. The man reportedly stayed in the apartment for 12 whole hours after the escort died. Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani told jurors in the court that Naseem sent vile pictures and films to another sex worker while he was in the apartment and even pretended to be unconscious when authorities broke the door down.
Tehrani said: "He murdered Christina Abbotts. In short, the prosecution says the assault Christina Abbotts suffered which resulted in her death was brutal, savage, unnecessary and pointless. You will hear she had an active social life. Unknown to many of her friends and family, she was a sex worker. In some quarters, she would be described as a high-class escort."
A 41-year-old man from Buckinghamshire's appeared in court, charged with murdering a woman who was found dead in a bed in Crawley. Zahid Naseem's lawyer's indicated he'll deny killing Christina Abbots, whose body was discovered in Gossops Green on Friday night. #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/oimI4f8Ypq— Sussex News (@HeartSussexNews) May 30, 2018
Naseem lives in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, with his estranged partner and two children. The court heard that the pair has met several times and arranged to see each other again in the Crawley apartment before Abbotts' birthday celebrations with her friends.
They were spotted buying alcohol in a nearby store and when authorities searched the apartment, they found a blood-stained bottle of Courvoisier brandy, cocaine, and poppers.
One of her friends, Roshan Periag, said that he was so worried about Abbotts that he drove all the way to the apartment early in the morning to try and find her before he went to the nearest police station. When officers arrived at the scene and broke the door down, Naseem was seen lying still on the sofa and his eyes were flickering. The court heard that he appeared to be responding to light and that a paramedic was "skeptical" that he was unconscious.
After Naseem was arrested, he was taken to a nearby hospital to be assessed where doctors found that his injuries were consistent with self-harming.
He was then discharged and subsequently questioned by the police. The court heard that the father-of-two claimed the last thing he could remember was "passing out" after the pair met in the apartment. Tehrani said: "The prosecution say there was nothing wrong with him. He was play-acting."
An examination that was conducted of Naseem's phone showed that he had sent another escort a pornographic picture and a naked video of himself in the apartment which looked like he masturbated in the hours after Abbotts was thought to have been killed. Officers also found a mortar, which is the other half of the pestle, in the kitchen.
Naseem's bloody fingerprints were found on the side of the bathtub, on a meat cleaver in the kitchen and on Abbotts' iPhone. Blood was also discovered in a half-filled bath with a knife at the bottom and there were other knives on the sofa. Tehrani told the court that there was no sign of forced entry and that "only someone with the powers of Spiderman" would have been able to access the apartment in the top floor.
A post-mortem that was conducted on Abbotts showed that she died of blunt-force trauma to the head and sustained 11 tears and two bruises from the assault. There were also signs of attempted strangulation on her neck. The trial is on-going.