Man jailed for life over murder of trans woman Naomi Hersi
University dropout Jesse McDonald has been jailed for life for the murder of trans woman Naomi Hersi in Hounslow, west London, in March.
McDonald, 25, was found guilty of drugging and killing 36-year-old Hersi in a hearing at the Old Bailey on October 26.
He will spend a minimum of 20 years behind bars.
McDonald, a former undergraduate at the London School of Economics, was also handed a 30-month jail sentence for perverting the course of justice, which will run concurrently.
His girlfriend, Natalia Darkowska, was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice on Friday.
Darkowska, who lives in Trowbridge in Wiltshire, helped her boyfriend clear up after the murder. She will be sentenced on November 16.
Tom Dahri, detective inspector at the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “McDonald lied through his teeth throughout his whole trial and now he will be able to spend the next 20 years in prison thinking about his actions.
“I hope that Naomi’s family will be able to take some comfort in the fact that the killer of their beloved child will spend a very long time away from being able to harm anyone else. They finally have justice.”
Hersi, who lived in Mill Hill, north-west London, met McDonald on a hook-up website, FabSwingers, and the two spent three days together before heading to McDonald’s address in Hounslow.
McDonald was accused of drugging Hersi, before killing her with a knife and broken bottle.
“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 during the trial, quoted in the Metro newspaper.
The prosecutor added: “When it was done, when she was dead, he tried to clean it up and avoid detection.”
During the course of the trial, the court was told that McDonald had first contacted Hersi online 45 minutes after arriving home from visiting his girlfriend, who was 17 at the time.
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He ignored Darkowska’s increasingly persistent attempts to get in touch with him, before sending her a message days later which read: “Baby I been [sic] a f**king idiot.”
In another message, he added: “I love u so much. Not cheated x. Got addicted to a nasty drug I had never met before.”
McDonald claimed self-defence, saying that he had been drugged with GHB, but forensic toxicologist Vincent Cirimele said that the man presented no trace of the drug.
Cirimele reported that tests showed McDonald had also used testosterone, cocaine and cannabis, and that McDonald’s use of amphetamines—including crystal meth and MDMA—was “high to medium when compared to other recreational users.”
He said he believed that the 25-year-old was “a regular and repeated user of the drugs.”