The son of a Nigerian government official, Bala Chinda, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping and murdering a Nigerian sex worker, Jessica Nkechi McGraa, in Aberdeen.
26-year-old Chinda killed McGraa, said to be a £1,800-a-night high-class escort, only a few weeks after he arrived in Scotland to study at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
Chinda, whose father works as the immigration attaché at the Nigerian embassy in Beijing, the Chinese capital, arrived Aberdeen a few weeks before the tragic incident.
CCTV footage showed she had travelled to Chinda’s student accommodation in the city’s King Street with him in a taxi before they returned to her apartment a short time later, where she was found dead the following day.
Daily Mail reports that McGraa made her last call on her mobile phone a few minutes before surveillance cameras recorded Chinda walking down the street away from her flat.
The partially-clothed body of the 37-year-old £200-an-hour sex worker was found the following day in the bedroom of a flat she had rented in the city’s Union Terrace.
It was also alleged that he stole her mobile phones to erase any evidence linking him to her.
Bala Chinda however denied the allegation of killing the sex worker.
A high court in Aberdeen gave Chinda a life imprisonment sentence with a minimum term of 18 years.
On Friday, a jury of eight women and seven men unanimously found him guilty of murdering Miss McGraa in the city centre flat.
They took over six hours to reach their verdict and also found him guilty of raping the mother of one and stealing her two mobile phones in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice.
Judge Lord Beckett told the jury they had gone about their duties commendably after listening to evidence they may have found ‘very distressing’.
Jailing Chinda, he told the killer he had ended the life of a woman described by friends giving evidence as ‘full of fun’ and who had much left to live for.
Chinda was told he must serve a minimum of 18 years. He wept uncontrollably after he was found guilty by the jury.
The court heard that Miss McGraa died of asphyxiation and was probably smothered with a pillow and possibly strangled with her scarf.
The taxi driver taking Chinda and Miss McGraa back to her apartment had heard the two discussing money before she was killed on February 11.
Chinda changed his phone number after her death.
Following the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Houston was quoted as saying: “This was a challenging case for all involved, using the full resources of Police Scotland to understand what happened to Jessica and trace the person responsible for her murder – a man who went to great lengths to cover his involvement and deceived his victim from the outset.
“At the heart of this horrific crime was a young mother, daughter and friend whose life was cut tragically short in what must have been terrifying circumstances.”
“Throughout Chinda has shown no real remorse for his depraved actions and taken no responsibility for robbing a young boy of his mother. It is hard to imagine how difficult this past year has been for her family and friends and our thoughts are with them today,” he added.