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Moment killer City banker fakes sad face and shrugs after murdering high-class escort

THIS is the moment a City banker fakes a sad face and shrugs to cops after murdering a high-class escort in a champagne and cocaine-fuelled attack.

Zahid Naseem, 50, bludgeoned Christina Abbotts with a kitchen pestle after paying her for sex while she was house sitting for a friend on her 29th birthday.

Killer Zahid Naseem unknowingly gave tell-tale signs he was lying to police
Killer Zahid Naseem unknowingly gave tell-tale signs he was lying to policeCredit: Discovery +

Dad-of-two Naseem, who was believed to earn up to £250,000 a year as a freelance investment consultant, initially insisted he couldn’t remember what happened.

During police interviews, Naseem pretended to look solemn as he struggled to recall the events leading up to Christina’s death in Crawley, West Sussex, in 2018.

In one clip, he has his arms folded with his head down, while another shows him resting his head on his hand with his body turned away from officers.

When asked how Christina sustained her horrific injuries, Naseem said: “I just don’t know, that’s why I’m shocked.”

But experts say his body language gave him away and convinced cops he was lying.

Dr Cliff Lansley told Discovery’s Faking it: “The claim he doesn’t know is being contradicted by a single-sided shoulder shrug.

“This is subconscious, it’s not intended for you to see.”

A head shake, eye flickers and his posture also convinced investigators that Naseem was “very clear about what happened in that room and he’s lying to us”.

While in his slumped position, Naseem showed his “first attempt at sadness” in order to get police on his side.

Dr Lansley said: “When the brows raise and the mouth arches, it creates a signal of sadness. And when we feel it, that’s what happens.

“But when you want to pose sadness, you can create the same arch and pretend you’re sad to get pity and some mercy when you’re in the wrong by jutting your chin and pursing your lip.

“If you ask a child to pose sadness, they do what we call a sulk, and this is what he’s doing.

“He’s doing a sulk pose on his mouth. His chin raises and his lip pouts out with a little frown.

“This combination is what we can pose sadness or sulking. It’s not going to convince anyone to have pity at this point.”

Dawn Archer, professor of linguistics, also said there were several indicators that Naseem was “really struggling” with the questioning.

“One is the fact there are a significant number of long pauses throughout, sometimes two seconds in length, often four seconds in length, and up to eight seconds in length,” she said.

“That’s a long time to pause before answering. He’s either unsure of what to say and/or he’s thinking about what to say next.”


Despite his initial insistence, Naseem later claimed he unleashed his assault in self-defence after Christina tried to strangle him during sex – but a court found him guilty of murder.

Christina, who was born in the West Midlands and lived in London, was found after she failed to turn up to her 29th birthday party in South Kensington.

She is thought to have been dead about 12 hours before she was discovered.

Naseem was also discovered lying on the sofa in the next room “feigning unconsciousness and memory loss”.

But he unknowingly gave tell-tale signs to his guilt, experts said.

Dr Lansley said: “He was just pretending to be slightly out of it to give him that space and distance from the difficult situation.

“That seems to be giving him a calm state, and if we look at the monitor in the room, his heartrate is at 76 so he’s not panicking, he’s quite comfortable that he’s safe as long as he pretends to be half asleep or unconscious.

“But he’s not fooling anyone here.”

He was just pretending to be slightly out of it to give it him that space and distance from the difficult situationDr Cliff LansleyBody Language Expert

CCTV footage showed Naseem and Christina shopping for bottles of champagne in Asda on the evening of the murder.

At one point, Naseem can be seen giving Christina a kiss on the head as they stand in one of the aisles.

He told the court the pair spent the evening “naked, being intimate, drinking and taking drugs” as well as having a bath together.

The privately-educated sex worker lived a secret life as a high-class escort under the pseudonym Tilly Pexton while telling family and friends she worked in IT.

Her dad Michael Abbotts, who lives in Stourbridge, said he was “never fully aware” of what his daughter did for a living but she had “very posh friends” and travelled a lot.

Naseem had hired Christina before and paid up to £3,500 a time when they met.

The banker, from Amersham, Bucks, told the court he turned to escorts when the “whirlwind romance” with his partner fizzled out and they grew apart.

The banker said his job – which took him to New York when working for Merrill Lynch – was stressful, but he was “devoted” to his children and tried to spend all his spare time with them.

Naseem was jailed for life with a minimum of 19 years.

Christina was killed in Crawley
Christina was killed in Crawley
Naseem repeatedly bludgeoned Christina with a kitchen pestle
Naseem repeatedly bludgeoned Christina with a kitchen pestle
Naseem was jailed for life for her murder
Naseem was jailed for life for her murderCredit: Press Association Images

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