Prosecution opens its case in murder trial

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Outlining the prosecution’s case, Crown Advocate Howard Sharp said that Alfredo Da Costa Rebelo (60) killed his wife, Ana, in April 2017 – hours after the couple had rowed over the 51-year-old’s affair.

Mrs Rebelo was found dead in the
St Helier flat she shared with her
husband and two children after
allegedly being killed ‘on or about’
Monday 3 April two years ago.

Crown Advocate Sharp said the central issue for the court to decide was whether Mr Rebelo had murdered his wife, or Mrs Rebelo had taken her own life, as the defence will argue.

The Crown’s case is that Mrs Rebelo had spent two hours with her lover – Manuel Loureiro – before returning to the family home in Victoria Street. Mr Loureiro gave evidence to the court yesterday. (Full story: Page 2.) Mr Rebelo arrived home from work at around 9.30pm on 3 April and the couple had a
‘difficult conversation’ which led to an

Crown Advocate Sharp said: ‘The defendant became upset to the extent that he lost his temper and self-control. He hit his wife – he hit her in the face and he cut her lip.’

He added that Ana went to the bedroom she shared with her husband to get some painkillers for her lip and refused to sleep next to her husband – instead opting to sleep in her daughter’s bed, which was in the lounge.

‘There was a period of time between that loss of temper and blow to the face,’ Crown Advocate Sharp said. ‘At some time after, the defendant took the leggings and he used them to kill Ana.

‘He strangled Ana in their daughter’s bed with the leggings.’

He added that during strangulation, the person will pass out and pressure on the ligature would have to be maintained after the person is unconscious. This, he said, made it very unlikely that Mrs Rebelo would have been able to strangle herself with the leggings.

The trial – which is being heard by the Inferior Number, rather than a jury – was told that during the night both children returned home and left again early the next morning. Crown Advocate Sharp said this gave Mr Rebelo ‘two windows of opportunity’ to kill his wife.

The couple’s daughter noticed that her mother was in her bed and chose to sleep on the sofa next to her so as not to wake her. Mrs Rebelo was still lying in bed when her daughter left the following morning. Mr Rebelo found his wife the following morning and claims he removed the leggings around her neck.

Mr Rebelo – who is being represented by Advocate Julian Gollop – walked through town to try to find family members and tell them what had happened. It was not until two hours after Mr Rebelo woke up that an ambulance was called.

Forensic evidence found in the flat found blood spatterings both near the bed where Mrs Rebelo died and on a wall – potentially from the earlier argument, Crown Advocate Sharp said.

The Bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, is presiding. Jurats Jane Ronge and Jerry Ramsden are sitting. The trial continues.

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