Words: Steve Brown
The man who murdered transgender woman Naomi Hersi has been found guilty.
Jesse McDonald, 25, drugged Hersi before stabbing her to death with a knife and broken bottle in a hotel near Heathrow airport earlier this year.
During the trial at the Old Bailey, the jury heard that McDonald – who dropped out of the London School of Economics to deal drugs - met Hersi when he went looking for excitement online and found her profile on a website called fabswingers.com.
It was previously reported that McDonald and Hersi spent four days together before he turned and brutally murdered her.
After killing her, he got bags and cleaning products before calling his girlfriend Natalia Darkowska, 18, and they both attempted to clean up.
McDonald admitted to causing the fatal injuries which caused Hersi's death but denied murder and claimed he acted in self-defence.
He allegedly stabbed Hersi up to 40 times in a frenzy and claimed she was about to smother him with a pillow.
While giving evidence, McDonald said: "Clearly I was looking for something, I wanted to get out. I don't know, it is not uncommon for me to have done something like this in the past. I'm disappointed in myself.
"At the time I felt open-minded, liberal-minded, whatever you want to call it."
Following his conviction, Det Insp Tom Dahri, said: "From day one of this murder, McDonald has spun lie after lie and tarnished the name of the victim by calling her some of the vilest names in front of her family.
"McDonald completely fabricated that he was kept against his will at Naomi's address and there was no evidence whatsoever that he had been raped by her, either.
"This was all just smoke and mirrors to make himself look like a victim, when in fact he is a cold and calculated killer who dragged his girlfriend in to help him clear up his mess.
"We are very pleased the jury saw through his tissue of lies."
Both McDonald and Darkowska were unanimously found guilty at the Old Bailey.
He was remanded into custody to be sentenced on November 1 and Darkowska was granted bail and will be sentenced separately on November 16.