Peacock’s ‘Meet Marry Murder: Godinho’ follows the violent murder of a 39-year-old mother, Aliny Mendes, on the streets of Surrey, England, in early February 2019, in front of her small daughter, aged three. While the offender was captured by police within hours of the homicide, an inquest investigating the authorities’ conduct was held in 2022 to investigate carelessness.
How Did Aliny Mendes Die?
Aliny Dias Mendes Godinho, according to Tatiana Mendes, is “a spectacular person, with a heart full of love to give to everyone around her.” “She was an angel who passed through our lives,” Tatiana continued. Many people were perplexed as to how she was able to do everything with so much magic.” Aliny was a loving mother who treated her four children, one of which was a stepson, “as if they were great precious stones.” She was also a fantastic cook, with Tatiana noting that it was difficult to resist the flavour of her food.
The sister went on to say that Aliny used love as “her secret ingredient.” She met Ricardo Godinho, a fellow Brazilian, while work in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 2001. They began dating in March 2003 and moved to the United Kingdom in September 2003, using a forged marriage certificate to get visas. They told immigration agents they were on their honeymoon, according to accounts. In 2008, the pair returned to Brazil for medical reasons after a five-year absence. However, they returned to the UK in 2013 and established a family home in Epsom.
Godinho Maintenance was founded by Ricardo in October 2016. While Aliny worked from their house baking pastries for gatherings, the business grew swiftly. However, Ricardo, on whom she relied for money, had thrown them away. In a December 2018 police statement, she said, “He told me to stop because I was good for nothing, and I only caused him financial loss.” Instead, Ricardo hired Aliny in January 2017 to assist with paperwork and other administrative chores at his firm.
Aliny, 39, was making the school run on February 8, 2019, and she was on London Road, Ewell, Surrey, about 3:00 pm with her youngest daughter, then 3. Suddenly, a culprit attacked the mother, slashing her repeatedly with a huge kitchen knife. Two of the neck wounds resulted in severe blood loss and were ultimately deadly. Although emergency responders responded and gave significant medical care, her life could not be saved. At roughly 3:36 p.m., EMTs declared her dead on the scene.
Who Killed Aliny Mendes?
According to the episode, Aliny and Ricardo’s relationship began to deteriorate in September 2018 when they disagreed about company money. According to reports, he obtained evidence indicating that his company made a profit of £37,000, despite his claim that he knew nothing about it. The company was later removed from the Companies House Register, and Aliny claimed Ricardo was to blame. According to her police statement, “he told our 12-year-old son that I had destroyed his company and that we would lose everything.”
Ricardo, according to Aliny, had previously displayed such behaviour when the couple launched a coffee shop together in Brazil. He allegedly utilised CCTV to spy on her and would appear and smash up tables if she sold things on credit. She even claimed that he once drove in front of oncoming traffic while she screamed, adding that “it was common for men to kill their wives in Brazil.” Following the corporate fiasco, the pair slept in separate rooms and talked divorce in October and November 2018.
Aliny stated she tried to leave Ricardo several times over the course of their 17-year relationship, but he would threaten to harm her or himself. They fought constantly because he was irritated by their children’s noise. According to reports, he even shredded his children’s Italian passports (Ricardo held Italian citizenship) on 2018 Boxing Day, thinking Aliny would move to America with the children. She decided to inform the police two days after Christmas 2018 because of his intimidating threats to take her children to Brazil.
The next day, Ricardo was captured outside Aliny’s friend’s house, where she had sought refuge to avoid him. He told Aliny’s friend that he had reported his wife and children missing, and that the police had told him where they were. However, the police denied this idea, claiming that he had possibly followed her phone via Find My iPhone. He was released on bail the same day, but was only allowed to contact his children through social services. The restriction was removed on January 16, 2019.
“You ordered your friend to film Aliny picking up clothing items from your house after the separation,” the court said during Ricardo’s sentencing. You read her emails and followed her about on her phone. “A police officer testified about Aliny’s fear of you.” Aliny also claimed she had nightmares about his attempting to murder her. According to the prosecution, he plotted the lethal attack throughout January and early February 2019. Mrs Justice Thornton DBE observed, “An article about a Brazilian woman killed by her husband was found on your iPhone.”
Ricardo left his Kingston Road house on February 8th, armed with the knife that would become the murder weapon. He proceeded to West Vale Park in Horley for work for Godinho Maintenance, then to Chertsey for another job, and finally to Ewell. He was captured on security video at an Ewell petrol station seconds before he attacked his estranged wife. He was stationed in his pickup truck, armed with a knife, at a nearby Nonsuch Park car park, keeping a close eye on the bus bringing Aliny and their daughter.
He immediately drove out of the vehicle space, mounting the grass verge where Aliny and the child walked, around 3:00 p.m. Aliny saw her estranged spouse and screamed in terror, trying to flee while gripping her daughter’s hand. Tragically, she was apprehended and savagely stabbed up to seven times while collapsing. He threw away the murder weapon and fled the area in his pickup vehicle after the attack lasted only 17 seconds. Aliny lacked defensive wounds because the vicious attack gave her little chance to defend herself.
Where is Ricardo Godinho Now?
Ricardo admitted to stabbing Aliny when conversing with friends and coworkers shortly after the terrible murder. He meant to submit to authorities and set off for a police station, but was arrested about an hour and a half after the violent assault. He was formally charged with murder and carrying an offensive weapon in a public place on February 10. He was unanimously found guilty of both charges in July 2019 and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 27 years.
The sentence meant that he might be eligible for parole in the United Kingdom beginning in 2046, however that option was subject to assessment or rejection. However, a new jail transfer deal with a maximum sentence of 30 years in May 2022 maintains Ricardo’s proximity to his family in his hometown. After accounting for time spent in British prisons, he is scheduled to be released in 27 years. Ricardo, now in his mid-40s, is still detained at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes and did not attend Aliny’s murder inquest in 2022.
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