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Accused killer claims he had consensual sex with Islington schoolgirl

PUBLISHED: 14:24 29 March 2011

Victim Jessie Wright

Victim Jessie Wright

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A MAN accused of raping and murdering schoolgirl Jessie Wright this week claimed they had consensual sex - and told a court he was “too scared to hurt anybody”.

Zakk Sackett, 20, said he was good friends with the 16-year-old and described her a “lovely girl”.

The prosecution claim Sackett raped and strangled Jessie Wright in a parking bay outside his home in Outram Place, Islington, in the early hours of March 4 last year.

She was then dumped over a 15ft wall and was only found 14 hours later by council surveyors.

Before Sackett began his evidence at the Old Bailey, his barrister Jeremy Dein QC told jurors it “has to be accepted” he killed her but murder was an “entirely different question”.

The court heard he was raised by his grandmother after his parents died when he was 18 months old.

He did not go to school and intellectually he was in the bottom one per cent in the country.

When asked by Mr Dein whether he wanted to harm Jessie, Sackett told the court: “No, not at all. I would be too scared to hurt anybody.

“She was a lovely girl, she still is now. I always think about her. What happened, I didn’t mean for it to happen.”

Sackett said he had been friends with Jessie for about two and-a-half years and he was able to confide in her about his troubles, including the death of his parents.

He told the jury he had consensual sex with the teenager in the early hours of March 4 as he had done on at least two other occasions.

Mr Dein said there was some “jostling” between Jessie and Sackett and “at some stage she came to be in a headlock-type hold”.

“Sadly while accepting that his actions might well have caused her tragic death, he didn’t intend to hurt her, let alone to seriously injure her nor to kill her,” said the barrister.

Sackett, who has convictions for theft, assault and using threatening words and behaviour, will claim she collapsed and then he panicked by moving her body and selling her phone, as well as lying to police and his own solicitor.

Mr Dein said: “Zakk Sackett is no angel but equally he is no the devil personified”.

Sackett denies a single charge of murder.

The trial continues.


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