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Yui Mok/PA
UK News

Man in court charged with murder after fatal stabbing of church goer

by Press Association

Ricardo Godinho is charged with murdering Aliny Mendes, 39, who was attacked in Ewell, Surrey, on Friday.

It's thought she attended the local Catholic church, St George's in Epsom, and was actively involved in raising money for them. 

Godinho, 41, from Epsom, appeared at Staines Magistrates' Court on Monday after he was charged with murder on Sunday night.

He is also charged with one count of possession of a bladed article.

A police statement after the incident said Ms Mendes was knifed to death on London Road at about 3pm.

A different church near the incident was also affected on Friday night as roads were closed and parents struggled to collect their children from youth group. 

Sean Skinner, the youth pastor at St Paul's Howell Hill in Cheam told Premier the incident was: "about a mile away, just the opposite side of a local park an just down the main road, so really local and where quite a few of our congregation live". 

"It is quite unusual and quite shocking, the area isn't really known for violent crime or anything like that. Even the recent spate of violent crime in London hasn't really affected this area so, I don't know, maybe it's a bit of a wake-up call for our area that violence can exist even in seemingly peaceful commuities.

"We certainly as a church have been praying about it over the weekend, we inlcuded it in our intercessions on Sunday and it's going to be something we'll probably try to engage more with in future". 

The man charged, Godinho, appeared in the dock with short hair and stubble, wearing a grey custody sweater, and listened to the two-minute hearing with the help of a Portuguese interpreter.

He spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, and gave his nationality as Brazilian and Italian.

Godinho was remanded in custody to appear at Guildford Crown Court on Monday afternoon.

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.

The case has also been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, Surrey Police said.

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