Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on the 2nd of May 2021, I have remembered 109 women, the last being Lucy Ayris.
Today I remember Naomi Hersi 36, a secret trans woman who Jesse McDonald stabbed and cut multiple times using a broken bottle at a hotel near Heathrow airport on or around the 14th of March 2017. McDonald was a university dropout and was into sex and drugs. The BBC reported this in November 2017 in regard to McDonald's trial.
After the killing, McDonald hid in his room as he waited for his 18-year-old girlfriend Natalia Darkowska to help clean up, jurors were told. But the plan to dispose of the body was scuppered when police found the victim lying half-naked, partly covered by a rug on the small bathroom floor. The former London School of Economics undergraduate McDonald denied murder, claiming he acted in self-defence. He and Darkowska, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, both denied perverting the course of justice following the killing between 14-18 March. Judge Mark Dennis QC rejected the defendant's claims he was drugged, raped and held in a "death grip" by the victim.
The judge said: "This was a dreadful assault on someone who it would appear will have been in no position to respond to an attack by you using a weapon." In a victim impact statement, Ms Hersi's family described her as a "sweet and trusting" person who was "funny and carefree". Father Mohamed Duale described the murder as the "ultimate injustice". "Our lives will never be the same. The grief has swallowed us up. It's consumed us. Maybe one day it will not be so painful but the violence of Naomi's death haunts us"
Naomi's sister Aminia later made a statement to the Daily Mail saying she was not aware Naomi was trans. The Mail reported:
He never asked me to call him Naomi and he never asked me to call him `she',' Amina said. He was very honest with me and said he would dress up sometimes and felt feminine, and that it was fun for a few hours. I am his little sister and maybe there are some things he didn't want to tell me.'
She told how Naomi found it really hard to keep down a job, and at times she is sure Naomi encountered blatant discrimination. I think it really got him down,' Speaking about Naomi's injuries, Amina recalled: 'He had cuts all over his face, in straight lines down his cheeks, across his forehead, and I remember thinking, "Who has time to be that cruel?"
Naomi's story is very sad, there were clearly family issues in her story and possibly she was ashamed to come out completely. Trans people know only too well the torment and distress Naomi felt.