BREAKING NEWS: Sister tells of shock over brother’s murder

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The sister of a Portuguese man who died after he was attacked in Crawley says people in Portugal are in a state of shock over his death.

Joao Esteves, 45, from the Lisbon area of Portugal, was found with serious head injuries at 3.25am on Sunday (January 19) in an alleyway between Stephenson Way and Haslett Avenue East.

His sister Margarida Esteves said: “My brother came to England to try to find work. He was not a troublemaker and would never fight with anyone. He would avoid confrontation and was not a violent man.

“My elderly mother is devastated by our loss. He was her eldest son and lived with her and now she is alone.

“My brother was the sort of man who would go out of his way to help people. I can’t believe that this is real.

“People in Portugal are in a state of shock and I can’t believe that he has died in this way. There doesn’t seem to be any sense to any of this. His death was needless.”

Officers will return on Sunday (January 26) to Haslett Avenue East and the cycle path nearby to look for more people who may have information about the attack.

Posters will also be put up urging anyone who was in the area and may have seen or heard something to come forward.

Detective Inspector Sean Kelly, of Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “We are hoping to find more people who can help us with details of the movements of Palmer and Mr Esteves on the night of the attack

“We believe Mr Esteves was attacked along Haslett Avenue East cycle path, opposite Three Bridges football club, between where two footpaths meet at a pedestrian crossing and the junction with Stephenson Way.

“Because the site is so close to the main road, many people will have driven past it. Some may have seen Mr Esteves being attacked or the immediate aftermath, between 2.30am and 3.25am, but may not have contacted us. We need to speak to them now.”

Anyone with information about the death should call 101 quoting Operation Atlas, email or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Daniel Palmer, 23, of Maunsell Park, Station Hill, Crawley, has been charged with murder.

Two men aged 33 and 48 and a 22-year-old woman, all from Crawley, who were also arrested on Sunday, have been released on bail until March 12 while officers carry out further inquiries.