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Man jailed for 20-years for murdering trans woman in London

Man jailed for 20-years for murdering trans woman in London

Jesse McDonald

A 25-year-old man has been jailed for at least 20 years for murdering transgender woman, Naomi Hersi.

Jesse McDonald was sentenced to life in prison for killing the 36-year-old Hersi during a sex and drugs binge.

McDonald had contacted the hospitality worker on dating website in March.

The Old Baily heard that after spending four days together, McDonald drugged and stabbed Hersi to death with a broken bottle in a hotel near Heathrow Airport.

During the trial, prosecutor Mark Heywood said McDonald had bought plastic bags and cleaning products.

He then contacted his girlfriend, 18-year-old Natalia Darkowska, asking her to help clean the room and dispose of Hersi’s body.

‘Each was thinking only of themselves and each other – without a care for the deceased, whom they believed was unlikely, because of her lifestyle, to be missed,’ Heywood said.

However, police found the victim lying half-naked on the bathroom floor, partially covered by a rug.

McDonald had denied murder and claimed to have acted in self-defense, the Guardian reported. Both he and Darkowska denied perverting the course of justice.

The couple wept and embraced in the dock as they were found guilty of the charges following a trial at the Old Bailey in October.

Darkowska will be sentenced at a later date.

Naomi Hersi
Naomi Hersi’s family described her as a fun and carefree person

‘He tried to clean it up and avoid detection’

During the trial, the prosecution gave accounts of the events leading up to the murder.

After contacting Hersi online, McDonald drove to her home in north-west London, where they spent three days before they traveled to the hotel in Hounslow.

‘After a time, he drugged her, fought with her and eventually killed her, stabbing and cutting her multiple times with a broken bottle and knife and perhaps other things in order to achieve her death,’ the prosecutor said.

‘When it was done, when she was dead, he tried to clean it up and avoid detection,’ Heywood added.

McDonald had initially claimed that Hersi had held him hostage, drugged and repeatedly raped him. He said he had killed Hersi when he feared she was going to smother him with a pillow.

When asked why he initiated online contact with Hersi, McDonald said it was because he was ‘a complete idiot’.

Originally from Somalia, Hersi lived in Mill Hill in north-west London. Her family described her as a fun and carefree person.

Her father, Mohamed Duale, described the murder as the ‘ultimate injustice’. He said: ‘Our lives will never be the same. The grief has swallowed us up. It’s consumed us.’

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