A banker texted his partner “I’m sorry” after he allegedly bludgeoned a high-class escort to death on her 29th birthday, a court heard.
The accused killer, 48-year-old Zahid Naseem, stayed for another 12 hours in the Highams Hill apartment where he had just murdered 29-year-old Christina Abbotts as she lay in bed, officials said. During that half-day, Naseem allegedly sent explicit photos and videos to another sex worker — and then pretended to be unconscious when police suddenly showed up.
As the murder trial continued, the court heard how the “privately-educated city girl” lived a secret life as a high-class escort but told her friends and family she worked in IT.
Abbotts, who worked under the name “Tilly Pexton,” was housesitting in the apartment where she was found dead. A Lewes Crown Court was told that she hit 13 times in the back of the head with a pestle and may have been strangled.
Naseem, from Elm Close, has denied any role in the murder. He claimed he and Abbotts were drinking and doing drugs together before he woke up and found her dead, the BBC reported.
Naseem has admitted to paying Abbotts up to $2,500 per night and described her as “a social media addict” who led a lavish lifestyle partying with “posh”, wealthy friends living in Westminster and other parts of London while frequenting the theater, polo and Ascot.
Jurors also heard Abbotts had been “hassled” online and in person by a “female stalker”.
On the night of her death, Abbotts had planned to meet friends at the Park Plaza County Hall hotel in London for her birthday party, but never arrived. Friends began to worry, fearing it may have been linked to her concerns about a stalker.
Long time friend Roshan Pariag drove from London to the apartment in Crawley to look for her, and noted he could see a “glow” from a computer screen in the home but no one answered the door so he called police.
After police broke down the door and found her body, he said: “I could just tell by the look on their face something tragic had happened.”
Mr Pariag added: “She was always happy, she was always trying to look after friends. She was just a really, really lovely person. She was willing to give anybody a chance.”