A City banker who was found guilty of bludgeoning to death a high-class escort with a pestle on her 29th birthday has been jailed for at least 19 years.
In the brutal and prolonged killing, Zahid Naseem struck Christina Abbotts 13 times on the back of the head with the large, black, ceramic kitchen utensil.
She was hit around 30 times in total all over her body, during a champagne and cocaine-fuelled attack while housesitting a flat for a friend in Crawley, West Sussex.
The jury of eight men and four women took around four hours to return the verdict at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday.
Abbotts, who was born in the West Midlands, was described as a “socialite” who led a party lifestyle in London, mixing with “posh” and wealthy friends, while telling relatives she worked in IT.
But secretly she advertised her services on site AdultWork.com under the pseudonym Tilly Pexton.
Naseem was working for Toronto-Dominion Bank’s London office when he found her profile offering overnight rates from £1,000.
The pair were last seen in public on the evening of May 24 when Naseem met her in Crawley before spending the night together.
CCTV showed him standing in an Asda supermarket aisle kissing her on the forehead as they bought a bottle of Veuve-Clicquot champagne.
Worried friends started searching for her when she failed to turn up to her birthday party in South Kensington the next day.
Police found her body when they broke down the door of the flat in the early hours of the morning on May 26.