College dropout who tortured and killed his transgender lover in frenzied stabbing


A university dropout who tortured and killed his transgender lover in a frenzied stabbing after a four day chemsex session is facing a life sentence.

Sex addict Jesse McDonald, 25, had an attractive teenage girlfriend but could not resist calling up Naomi Hersi, 36, on a swingers’ site just hours after leaving her home.

They smoked large quantities of crystal meth together before McDonald, who was a talented tennis player and violinist, stabbed Ms Hersi repeatedly with a carving knife and two broken bottles.

At one stage he straddled Ms Hersi, jabbing at her sadistically with the knife. When she was dead, McDonald called his Polish girlfriend Natalia Darkowska, 18, to his hotel room and together they tried to clean up the bloodbath with Mr Muscle spray.

When they realised the task was impossible, they tried to bribe the hotel owner to help, leaving Ms Hersi lying in the bathroom under a rug in a pool of blood.

The couple were laughing and joking as they left the hotel room to go for a meal at a McDonald’s burger bar.

Ms Hersi had suffered 58 stab wounds. McDonald insisted that he acted in self-defence in a ‘terrible blur’ but the jury found him guilty of murder

Darkowska, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. 

McDonald had enjoyed a privileged upbringing in Scaynes Hill, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, excelling as a musician and hoping to become a tennis professional until injury cut short his fledgling career.

Top ‘A’ level grades gained him a place at the London School of Economics where he claimed he made a small fortune trading in Bitcoin.

But he had also began using cannabis, cocaine and steroids and was dealing in drugs himself when he dropped out of university.

His family eventually threw him out of the house and by the time he killed Ms Hersi he was overdrawn at the bank, living in the Heathrow Palace Hotel in Hounslow and relying on handouts from his mother.

McDonald had an insatiable sex drive and described himself as a ‘sex pest’ who would trawl websites and apps looking for casual partners.

He had met with at least 20 women on various sites, in addition to several men and transgender people.

On the day before he met up with Ms Hersi he said he had enjoyed a three hour romp with Ms Darkowska, but confessed he was ‘still horny’ and could not resist the lure of gay sex.

He contacted Ms Hersi on the swingers site hours after leaving his girlfriend at her Trowbridge home and was invited to her one bedroomed flat in Guardhouse Way, Mill Hill.

Ms Hersi was an openly transgender woman to friends and internet lovers, but lived a double life and to her large Somali family she was still ‘a much loved son.’

Her devout Muslim family, who have attended throughout the trial, sat stoically as the sobs of McDonald and Darkowska echoed around the courtroom.

The couple hugged each other in the dock and then Darkowska wiped away a tear and muttered obscenities at the members of the press.

McDonald and Ms Hersi were together at the flat for four days having sex and taking drugs, stopping only to order pizza and go on shopping trips to the supermarket for supplies.

He was so engrossed that he ignored the plaintive messages from his girlfriend, who was desperately worried and suspected he may have gone off with a man as he had done before.

McDonald and Ms Hersi then drove to McDonald’s hotel room in his ‘3’ series ‘M’ BMW probably because he had more drugs there.

But at some stage an argument flared and McDonald smashed a beer bottle over Ms Hersi’s head and stabbed her with a shard of glass.

He did the same with a second bottle before turning on her with the carving knife he used to chop up the hashish he sold.

McDonald then called his girlfriend to the scene to help him clear up the room, which had bloodstains all over the walls and floor.

Prosecutor Mark Heywood said: ‘Each was thinking only of themselves and each other, without a care for the deceased who they believed was unlikely to be missed.

‘The task they had set themselves that day was one that they found overwhelming.

‘The volume of clothes and other items, the presence of the body and the extent and volume of the scattered blood in the room was a problem to which they were in the end unequal. The result was they left it part finished.’

McDonald was to tell the jury that after Ms Hersi died he had to ‘wade though blood’ on the carpet.

The couple left the room and booked a taxi at reception, saying they were they were going to McDonald’s.

‘They seemed in good spirits and were laughing and joking according to the driver,’ Mr Heywood added.

They spent the night together at another hotel and then McDonald called the owner Aduham Nawil the next morning, saying there had been a fight in the room and offering his Porsche watch if he cleaned it up.

He told the owner that no-one will even look for Ms Hersi. But the owner called the police and they found the body of Ms Hersi lying semi naked in the bathroom, with her eyes still open.

The knife used to kill her was in the bottom of the shower tray. It had been used with such force than the top of the blade had broken off.

McDonald told the court he was desperately in love with Darkowska who was ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’.

But his specific sexual needs led him to contact Ms Hersi. He claimed when he got to the flat he was drugged, raped, then tied up and raped again.

Asked why he did not raise the alarm when he was free to do so he said: ‘It didn’t seem like a police moment.’

They drove back to the hotel room where he claimed on the fourth day Ms Hersi had tried to strangle him and he stabbed her in self-defence.

‘It was my worst possible nightmare. Both his hands were in a death grip which was exactly how it felt.

‘I felt like I was suffocating. It got to a stage where I felt I was losing consciousness.

‘The only thing I could do was put my hand down the side of the bed. That’s where the bottle was. I smashed it on his head.’

McDonald said as they fight continued he stabbed the victim with the broken bottle and the knife.

‘I had the knife and I stabbed him as soon as I had it in my hands. I just stabbed him very quickly.

‘I may have lost control but it was instinctive self-defence. It all happened so quickly. I wasn’t that I wanted to stab him.’

He added: ‘It was the worst hours of my life. I knew he was dead. It was just a terrible blur.’

But McDonald lied to his girlfriend and his parents after the killing, along with police officers and the doctor sent to examine him amid his claims of being raped by as many as three attackers.

‘Even he does not accept that that is what happened now,’ Mr Heywood said.

‘This man is not to be trusted. This man is a cheater and a deceiver, and he is still attempting it right now.’

Mr Heywood rubbished the killer’s self-defence claims in his closing speech and said McDonald admitted straddling Ms Hersi and ‘torturing’ her with a knife during his interview.

‘One only has to imagine the pain and distress that that would cause,’ he said.

‘This was not by any stroke self-defence. If we borrow the word from Mr McDonald, some might say it was torturous. And that is pretty close to the truth.’

McDonald, of Haslemere Avenue, Hounslow, denied murder and perverting the course of justice.

Darkowska, of Barons Crescent, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, denied assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.



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