Ex-husband of mother-of-four, 39, stabbed to death during the school run appears in court charged with her murder as it emerges she had recently moved into a safe house because she was ‘scared’
- Mother-of-four Aliny Mendes was stabbed to death in a south London street
- She was attacked as she walked to collect two of her children from school
- Friends revealed the mother-of-four separated from her husband a month ago
- They say she moved into sheltered accommodation in Streatham, south London
A man appeared in court today charged with the murder of his ex-wife who was stabbed to death in the street after recently moving into a ‘protected’ home.
Ricardo Godinho, 41, is charged with murdering Aliny Mendes, 39, who was attacked as she walked to collect two of her children from school in Ewell, Surrey, on Friday.
Godinho, of Epsom, appeared at Staines Magistrates’ Court this morning after he was charged last night with murder and possession of a bladed article.
Aliny Mendes (right) was attacked as she walked to collect two of her children from school on Friday. Her ex-husband Ricardo Godinho (left), 41, from Epsom, was charged with murder
He appeared in the dock with short hair and stubble, wearing a grey custody jumper, and listened to the two-minute hearing with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.
Godinho spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, and gave his nationality as Brazilian and Italian.
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He was remanded in custody and appeared at Guildford Crown Court this afternoon, where a date of March 15 was set for a plea and trial preparation hearing at the same court.
Witnesses say a man jumped out of a black 4×4 and chased the 39-year-old before stabbing Ms Mendes near Meadow Primary School in Ewell.
Ms Mendes was attacked as she walked to collect two of her children from school on Friday
Armed police arrested a man on suspicion of murder two hours later as he sat in a van a mile from the scene.
Officers also announced that the matter has been referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Office of Police Conduct.
As investigators continue to question the suspect, friends have revealed the Brazilian-born mother had separated from her husband a month ago.
They say she had recently moved into sheltered accommodation in Streatham, south London, because she was ‘scared’.
Members of Mrs Mendes’s Roman Catholic church visited the murder scene near London Road to pay their respects. A fundraising campaign has raised more than £37,000 so far to support her children
Surrey Police have confirmed that the victim and suspect were known to each other.
Members of Mrs Mendes’s Roman Catholic church visited the murder scene near London Road to pay their respects.
Father Gianom, a priest at St George’s Church in Epsom, said: ‘She was a person full of life. She had four children, three boys and a girl.
‘Every morning she got up at 4am for the children. She made a lot of sacrifices for them.
Witnesses say a man jumped out of a black 4×4 and chased the 39-year-old before stabbing her near Meadow Primary School in Ewell, Surrey. Armed police arrested a man on suspicion of murder two hours later as he sat in a van a mile from the scene
‘When she separated from her husband she left for Streatham. It was in a house – protected.
‘She lived there because she separated from him. That was about a month ago.’ Another parishioner said: ‘I don’t know why they separated. I have heard some people saying she had been scared.’
Pictures posted on Ms Mendes’s social media accounts include one taken on her daughter’s third birthday in July last year.
The photograph, captioned ‘My family, my life’, shows her celebrating with her four children and a man believed to be her husband.
As investigators continue to question the suspect, who is in his 40s, friends have revealed the Brazilian-born mother had separated from her husband a month ago. They say she had recently moved into sheltered accommodation in Streatham, south London, because she was ‘scared’
They seem in high spirits as they clap and blow out birthday candles. Other pictures show her spending time with friends, enjoying a holiday with her children and trying out new recipes.
Her sister, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘My sister was lovely, always thinking about everyone but mostly her children. She had a wonderful heart and there was no one else like her.
‘She tried to help everyone where she could. She loved to cook and would organise surprise parties for friends and family giving cakes and presents she was loved by everyone. Everything she did was for the love for her children.’
A Meadow Primary School spokesman said: ‘Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Aliny Mendes. We will be working closely with the family to offer as much support as we can at this terrible time.
Armed police arrested a man on suspicion of murder two hours later as he sat in a van a mile from the scene. They are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death [File photo]
‘We believe our community can be best supported by the school opening as usual tomorrow and we will ensure any pupils affected are given additional support to help them through this difficult time.’
An online fundraiser to repatriate Ms Mendes’s body to Brazil has beaten its £40,000 target after more than 2,000 people donated.
Vanessa Ferro, who started the fundraiser, described Ms Mendes as a ‘dear friend, colleague and mother of four adored children’.
‘Her friends, church community, colleagues and her family in Brazil and other parts of the world are in total shock at the loss of this wonderful person,’ she said on the fundraising page.
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