A man who refused to accept that a woman he shared a house with did not want a relationship with him has been convicted of her murder after he brutally attacked her.
Sheldon Rodrigues, 30, of Willenhall Road, Hayes was found guilty of the murder of 39-year-old Stephanie Hansen following the conclusion of a trial at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 23 January. Rodrigues was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on Friday, 8 March.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command led the investigation and said: “For years Stephanie Hansen tried to extricate herself from Sheldon Rodrigues’ attention, attempting to make him understand that there was no chance of their friendship developing any further. Rodrigues refused to accept this and embarked on a campaign of persistent harassment over this time, a campaign that became more intense and sinister as it reached its violent conclusion.
“Stephanie was brutally attacked in her own home by someone she had known for years. It was clear she had become exhausted by Rodrigues’ persistent attention and was trying to find a way out.”
In summary, the court heard that Rodrigues and Stephanie had known each other since 2015 and lived together in a house on Willenhall Road in 2022 to share living expenses. Rodrigues wanted a romantic relationship with Stephanie, but she only wanted to be friends. His behavior became increasingly threatening and obsessive after Stephanie started dating someone else in 2022. He sent threatening messages, installed spy equipment in their house, and listened to their conversations while he was abroad.
On December 10, Rodrigues followed Stephanie’s boyfriend and sent threats to him. Stephanie confided in her boyfriend about her fears, and on December 30, Rodrigues attacked Stephanie brutally when her boyfriend had left for work. Rodrigues tried to cover up the crime and blame Stephanie’s boyfriend but was eventually caught due to inconsistencies in his story and surveillance footage that contradicted his alibi. Rodrigues was charged with Stephanie’s murder.
DCI Neil John added: “While this conviction will do little to ease the intense pain that Stephanie’s family and friends continue to endure following her death, I hope it reinforces the Met’s determination to hold those who inflict violence against women and girls to account.”