Yesterday in Scotland, Bala Chinda was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years for killing fellow Nigerian Jessica McGraa on February 11, 2016.
Bala, the son of a diplomat at the Beijing’s Nigerian embassy, had only just arrived from Nigeria a few weeks before to study at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and it is claimed he met, raped and murdered Ms McGraa – a 36 year old sex worker.
Prosecutors claimed with thorough police investigation, they were able to piece together what happened to Jessica. CCTV footage showed Jessica had travelled to Chinda’s student accommodation with him in a taxi before they returned to her rented apartment a short time later.
The taxi driver taking Chinda and Miss McGraa back to her apartment had heard the two discussing money and it is alledged when they got to her apartment, Bala, 26, forced her on to a bed, held her down and had sex with her. He then “inflicted blunt force trauma” to her head and neck before forcing Jessica’s face into a pillow.
To avoid detection which became a separate accusation of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, Bala stole Jessica’s two phones and a key, got rid of them and changed his number.
It is alleged that surveillance cameras recorded Chinda walking down the street away from her flat moments after Jessica made a last call before being murdered.
On these basis, a jury of eight women and seven men took more than 6 hours to unanimously found Chinda guilty of murdering the mum of one in a city centre flat.
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.
Chinda pleaded not guilty to the crime hence the trial and sentence. Though he cried upon sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Houston said: “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.”
Jessica moved to the UK from Nigeria 11 years ago after meeting an English oil worker, Gareth McGraa, who had been working in a Nigerian complex. They married and had a son but split a year before her murder.
While her 7 year old lived with a fellow Nigerian Bimbo Oviawe, 50, whom she considered to be an adopted mother, Jessica assumed a life of prostitution which only came to light following her death.
Many thought she moved around the country selling hair extensions while in fact she was fulfilling clients’ sexual requests.
She disguised her services under names including Ebony Bianca and Kelly West and described herself as “classic, stylish, naughty, horny, sexy” taking bookings from men, women and couples.
Her body was found two days after she last logged on to Adult Work. Her page stated she was “currently on tour” in Aberdeen for two days.