Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

A broad daylight murder has left four children without a mother, and a father behind bars for the next 27 years. Ricardo Godinho repeatedly stabbed his estranged wife Aliny as she held hands with her three-year-old daughter on February 8. They had been on the school run and had just got off of a bus in London Road, Ewell, when the mum was confronted by the 41-year-old killer.

Godinho had waited, armed with a knife, in a car park at nearby Nonsuch Park until he saw Aliny and their child, before driving his black pickup truck alongside them. In an attack lasting 17 seconds, Godinho stabbed Aliny “up to seven” times and inflicted fatal wounds to his wife’s neck.

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Ricardo Godinho trial

He then fled the scene, leaving his daughter with her dying mother. Godinho, of Kingston Road, Epsom, was arrested an hour and a half later.

He had denied her murder, but a jury unanimously convicted him on Wednesday (July 18) of the charge following a 13 day trial at Guildford Crown Court. He was also found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place. He was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 27 years, on Thursday (July 19). The timeline below outlines the Godinho’s relationship and the events that preceded the fatal attack, as well as the trial and subsequent conviction.

Time Line

Aliny Godinho murder timeline

  1. Background of the Godinho’s relationship

    In 2001, Godinho and Aliny meet at work in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, where he is from.

    They start a relationship in March 2003, before moving moving to the UK in September that year using a fake marriage certificate in order to obtain visas after telling immigration that they were coming for their honeymoon. After a five year stay, the couple move back to Brazil for medical reasons. Six years later they return to the UK and set up a family home in Epsom.

    Godinho starts his own company, Godinho Maintenance, in October 2016. It grows quickly, and Aliny is drafted in to help with paperwork and other admin in January 2017. They have four children together.

  2. September 2018 – the relationship changes

    Godinho’s relationship with Aliny “changes” following a disagreement.

    It is alleged Godinho receives some financial information about Godinho Maintenance, that shows the company is GBP37,000 in profit – although he claims not to know anything about this. The 41-year-old asks Aliny, who had been responsible for paperwork and admin, about it, which causes her to become “very upset” and from that point they start sleeping in different rooms. There are allegedly discussions about divorce in October and November.

    In her sentencing remarks, Justice Thornton DBE said it was after the separation that there was “evidence of coercive and controlling behaviour” from Godinho towards Aliny.

  3. Passports shredded on Boxing Day

    Fearing that Aliny would move herself and the children to America, Godinho shreds his children’s Italian passports on Boxing Day. They had these as Godinho had Italian citizenship.

  4. December – Godinho arrested after Aliny goes to police

    Godinho is arrested after Aliny went to police the day before claiming he had tried to kill her on two previous occasions. Aliny and the children are moved into emergency accommodation in Streatham.

    Godinho tracks their location using Find My iPhone and goes to the address on December 28. He is refused entry, police attend, and he is taken into custody. Godinho is released on bail, with the condition not to contact his children, except through social services.

    The condition is lifted on January 16 when he is released under investigation, but Godinho continues to not see his children. Evidence in the trial centred around a number of phone records found on Godinho’s mobile at the time. During sentencing the judge commented: “You ordered your friend to film Aliny picking up items of clothing from your house after the separation.

    “You read her emails and tracked her on her phone. A police officer gave evidence about Aliny’s fear of you.”

  5. January and early February 2019

    Godinho continues to not see his children, including on his 41st birthday. He sends a number of messages and makes notes on his mobile phone referencing the situation.

    The prosecution suggested during the trial Godinho had planned or premeditated the fatal attack during the weeks prior. Mrs Justice Thornton DBE was not satisfied of this submission and did not take into account during sentencing. She did tell Godinho: “An article about a Brazilian woman killed by her husband was found on your iPhone.”

  6. The morning and early afternoon of February 8

    Godinho leaves his Kingston Road home in the morning equipped with the knife that would become the murder weapon.

    He heads to West Vale Park in Horley to carry out work for Godinho Maintenance. Godinho travels from Horley to Chertsey for another work matter, before heading towards Ewell. CCTV captures him at a petrol station in the time before he attacks his estranged wife.

  7. The school run murder

    Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

    Godinho knows Aliny will be on her way to pick up the children from school.

    He tracks the movements of the bus she is on with their three-year-old daughter, and sits waiting in his pick-up truck, armed with a knife, in nearby Nonsuch Park car park. Aliny and the child get off the bus just before 3pm, at which point Godinho drives out of the car park and mounts the grass verge alongside where they are walking. Godinho is spotted by his wife who screams and attempts to get away while holding her daughter’s hand.

    She is grabbed by her estranged husband and stabbed repeatedly, even as she starts to fall to the floor. He leaves her dying, drops the murder weapon and flees in his pickup truck. The attack lasts 17 seconds.

  8. The aftermath

    Eyewitnesses and members of the public rush to Aliny’s aid to carry out desperate attempts to save her.

    Rebecca Dyer approaches the 39-year-old as she lays dying and tells her “her baby is alright because I thought that is what she wanted to hear”. Aliny is pronounced dead at the scene. It is later determined she died as a result of blood loss from two stab wounds to the neck, and it is said she was stabbed “up to seven” times.

    Within minutes of the murder, Godinho admits to stabbing his wife on the phone to friends and employees. He begins to drive to a police station to surrender, but his vehicle is stopped and he is arrested around an hour and a half after the attack.

  9. February 10

    Godinho is charged with murder around 48 hours after the attack. He is also charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

  10. February 11 – Godinho appears in court

    Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

    Three days after the fatal stabbing, Godinho makes his first appearance before a court.

    He appears at Staines Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing, before being sent to Guildford Crown Court that afternoon. He is remanded in custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing.

  11. March 29 – Godinho admits killing

    Appearing at the Old Bailey, Godinho admits killing Aliny – exactly seven weeks after the attack. He pleads guilty to manslaughter before Mrs Justice McGowan, but denies murder and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

    A trial date is set and Godinho is remanded in custody.

  12. July 1 – Murder trial begins

    Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

    The murder trial begins Guildford Crown Court. Mrs Justice Thornton DBE is the High Court judge presiding, with Kate Lumsdon QC prosecuting and Tom Little QC defending Godinho. Opening the Crown’s case, Ms Lumsdon QC tells the jury: “It is the Crown’s case that Mr Godinho killed his wife to punish her, out of revenge for leaving him and, as he saw it, keeping him from his children.

    “He planned it. He armed himself, lay in wait and killed her in cold blood.” The jury hears Aliny had previously warned police about her husband and mentioned to a friend on the morning of her death that she had told her priest: “My life is under threat.”

  13. July 2 – Eyewitnesses give evidence

    The court hears from eyewitnesses to the attack, including Toni Miller, who was on board the same bus as Aliny.

    She says the three-year-old daughter told Aliny “mummy’s not coming back”. Mrs Miller continued: “I looked at her face and she was absolutely terrified. He made contact with her and [she] pushed her daughter in my direction.

    She turned around to face the man and he grabbed hold of her and then when he pulled back I could see the blade of the knife.” She added: “I thought it was a Halloween prop, thought it was a joke. Aliny put up her arms to protect her and he started to stab her with the knife.

    He did not say a word. He was extremely calm and collected.” Another eyewitness, Natasha Carr, said she thought was witnessing a terror attack.

  14. July 5 – Godinho’s friends and employees give evidence

    The fifth day of trial hears from Godinho’s friend, whom he called in the aftermath of the attack and told: “I’ve just knifed my wife.”

    Ronaldo Bellinello says his mate asked him to go to the police station with him, where he would “surrender”. He described Mr Godinho as “in a desperate state, he was nearly crying”, when he met him after the attack. Mr Bellinello was in the car with Godinho when it was stopped and the killer was arrested.

    It was only then that Mr Bellinello found out that Aliny was dead. Two employees then gave evidence about their boss.

  15. July 12 – Killer gives evidence

    After the conclusion of Ms Lumsdon QC’s case, Mr Little QC calls his client, Ricardo Godinho, into the witness box. Godinho says he had approached Aliny as he wanted to give his daughter a “cuddle”, but his wife told him he would not see the children again.

    He tells jurors he was “blind” in the moments before the attack and added: “I didn’t know what I did to be honest.” The defendant also said he did not know Aliny had died and “found out” at the police station. Godinho tells the court he had intended to use the eventual weapon as a tool to help fix a garden gate in Horley.

    He said he’d often use it for work. He claims he then went to Chertsey for another work matter, before leaving because he wanted to see his children as he was “really missing” them. The 41-year-old tells of how much he has missed his children, and says Aliny had “made so many lies” in relation to her allegations in December 2018.

    He says he’d been counting the days since he last saw his children. The day of evidence was day 262.

  16. July 15 – Godinho cross examined

    Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

    During cross-examination by Ms Lumsdon QC, Godinho is quizzed about his phone records and his relationship with Aliny. Godinho describes himself as “a normal man” and continues to deny threatening Aliny, or threatening suicide himself.

    Ms Lumsdon QC puts it to Godinho he wrote to his cousin: “As for the mother, I couldn’t care less if she died.” “Is that true?” she asks. Mr Godinho said: “This isn’t fair, she took my children without reason, and over 30 days I haven’t seen my children.”

    A video is shown to the jury of Godinho at a petrol station he went to shortly before the killing, in which he leans over from the driver’s seat of his truck to the passenger’s side and comes back with something apparently in his hand. It is suggested that it was the knife he used. This is denied, with the defendant stating he leaned over to put a receipt in the glove compartment.

    The prosecutor suggests Godinho he carried out the attack “coldly, calmly and deliberately”.

  17. Godinho convicted of murder

    Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

    Following legal direction, closing speeches and summing up on Tuesday (July 16), the jury retires on Wednesday morning (July 17) to consider its verdict. Godinho is unanimously convicted of murder and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place. The murderer makes no expression as he sits in the dock in silence as the verdicts are read out by the foreman.

  18. Aliny’s family pay tribute to ‘beautiful, intelligent, happy, caring woman’

    Timeline of the murder of mother-of-four Aliny Godinho by estranged husband in Ewell

    After Godinho’s conviction, the family of Aliny Godinho pays tribute to her.

    “Aliny was a beautiful, intelligent, happy, caring woman who was loved by so many people, both in the UK, and in her home country of Brazil. The events of Friday, February 8 took away not only a sister, daughter, grandchild and friend, but more importantly, took a loving mother away from her four small children. “The impact that Aliny’s death has left on her children is almost impossible to put into words.

    All four children are under the age of 12 years old and are now left with no mother which is so hard for them to process at such a young age. It’s the small things that will have an impact on their lives growing up. “When the children are ill their mother will not be there to soothe them, when they get good results at school, their mother will not be there to praise them, when they perform in a school play, their mother will not be there to applaud them, and on birthdays, graduations, wedding days and other momentous events, their mother will not be able to share in the celebration and the joy of the occasion.

    “The family cannot express enough how our lives have changed and that it’s a daily struggle to not only come to terms with what has happened but to adapt to a new way of life. We are thankful for all the efforts by the criminal justice system but no sentence will ever replace or bring back our beautiful Aliny.” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Chapman, senior investigating officer from the specialist crime command, also sends his thoughts and sympathies to Aliny’s family and friends, as well as thanking witnesses to the attack.

  19. Murderer jailed for life

    Ricardo Godinho is sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday (July 18), the day after being convicted.

    He is given a minimum jail term of 27 years, aggravated by a number of factors such as the murder being witnessed by his three-year-old daughter. Mrs Justice Thornton DBE tells him: “You attacked Aliny whilst she was holding the hand of your daughter. No child should ever have to see what your three year old daughter saw that day.

    “The attack took place in front of other mothers on the school run, who remain deeply distressed by what they saw. Whilst your callous attack showed the worst of humanity, they and other eyewitnesses showed the best of humanity. Despite their shock and horror at seeing your savage attack, they did everything they could to save Aliny’s life and to shield your daughter from seeing her mother in the aftermath of the attack.”

    Godinho again sits emotionless in the dock before being led to the cells by a dock officer.

 

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