Jealous man who murdered housemate after spending over 150 hours spying on her is jailed

Sheldon Rodrigues repeatedly stabbed Stephanie Hansen after she began a relationship with a married man

Holly Evans
Friday 08 March 2024 18:33 GMT
Stephanie Hansen, 39, was stabbed to death in her home (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Stephanie Hansen, 39, was stabbed to death in her home (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Wire)

A jealous housemate who battered a woman with a hairdryer and stabbed her to death after spying on her with hidden surveillance devices has been jailed for life.

Sheldon Rodrigues, 30, repeatedly knifed Stephanie Hansen, 39, after she turned down his romantic advances and began a relationship with a married work colleague.

He obsessively began listening in on her using a device he had hidden inside a television unit, and spent an estimated 158 hours spying on her without her knowledge.

He also used the name of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to send an abusive message via Facebook and complained to their employer, the aviation firm Swissport near Heathrow.

Sentencing him to life with a minimum term of 25 years, Judge Judy Khan KC said Rodrigues carried out a campaign of harassment and intimidation.

She said the attack was “sustained and ferocious”, and was premeditated due to his anger at Ms Hansen.

She was brutally killed on 30 December after Rodrigues learned that her boyfriend had visited her at their house in Hayes, west London, while he was at work.

Shortly before 6am, father-of-three Celso Cabillan left her house, unaware that Rodrigues had been listening in on the couple’s date with a Micromax phone hidden in the living room.

Sheldon Rodrigues repeatedly stabbed his housemate after spying on her and her new boyfriend (PA)

He arrived home at 6.50am and shortly after “exploded with rage and brutally attacked” Ms Hansen, who was still in her pyjamas in her bedroom.

He stabbed her repeatedly in the neck and battered her over the head and face with a hairdryer and large fan with “severe force”, jurors were told.

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson KC said: “The evidence of the injuries shows that this was a vicious attack, the knife wounds numbering 20 in total, the blunt impact injuries numbering 39.”

Fighting back tears, Glenda Hansen, the victim’s mother, told Rodrigues: “You took her life and you stole her future.”

Speaking about the murder trial, she went on: “You made us sit through weeks of torment and listen to your lies.”

Ms Hansen, who cleaned parks in her spare time, introduced the defendant to the family because she “trusted” him and they did too, the court heard.

Russel Hansen, the victim’s younger brother, who has served in the army, said: “Our world has forever been altered, people tell me time will heal, I don’t believe them.”

Rodrigues, of Willenhall Drive, Hayes, denied murder and claimed he set up recording devices for her safety.

She had turned down Rodrigues’ advances for a romantic relationship (PA)

But jurors heard of a “wealth” of evidence against him, despite Rodrigues’ attempts to cast suspicion on the victim’s boyfriend.

The defendant’s long-standing obsession was exposed in messages on his phone dating back to 2015.

In 2021, he wrote: “It hurts to see you every day knowing you’ll never like me,” to which she responded: “I do like you but just not enough.”

He appeared not to accept the rejection, offering to change and have surgery to alter his looks, with the pair moving to share a house in Willenhall Drive in April 2021 to share bills.

Messages between them suggested there had been some intimacy, but Ms Hansen said it was “a mistake” and she only wanted to be friends.

By late 2022, Ms Hansen was in a relationship with Mr Cabillan, which angered the defendant, the court was told.

Rodrigues, who worked as a cargo agent at another firm near Heathrow, spent more than 100 hours listening in on Ms Hansen while he was at work or visiting India, where he was born, averaging three hours a day.

In November 2022, he emailed Swissport under a fake name to complain that Mr Cabillan was “loitering” about and trying to have an “affair” with his partner.

He bought a spy camera device designed to make secret recordings inside the house and monitor Ms Hansen’s new relationship.

A spy plug covert listening device was also found on a shelf in the defendant’s bedroom.

On 8 December, the defendant allegedly used the name Jamie Oliver to message Ms Hansen’s boyfriend on Facebook saying his girlfriend and child would be kidnapped.

Two days later, he paid a man £100 to drive him around in a car and follow Mr Cabillan, it was alleged.

Mr Cabillan realised he was being followed and reported it to police, but the defendant denied it.

On December 20, Rodrigues messaged Ms Hansen to say he had been a “psycho” before searching the internet for “how to make a woman fall in love with him”, the court was told.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Mr Cabillan leaving Ms Hansen’s home early on 30 December.

The defendant was later to claim Mr Cabillan was the killer and wrote a letter to Swissport saying: “He killed my housemate Stephanie Hansen the night he stayed at the house. I found her upon returning home.”

But Mr Patterson said she was alive and well after Mr Cabillan left, as she sent a string of text messages and used Siri on her phone.

She did not leave the house to go to Westfield shopping centre as she had planned, and WhatsApp messages from Mr Cabillan after 7am went unread, jurors were told.

After killing Ms Hansen, the defendant left her body in the bedroom and visited Boots to buy bandages for a cut to his hand – which he claimed he got from “household work”.

The defendant then set about laying a “false defence”, sending text messages to Ms Hansen’s phone asking where she was and pretending she was still at Westfield, it was claimed.

Mr Patterson said: “Of course, he knew fine well exactly where she was, lying on the floor of her bedroom in that small house in which he remained for around 24 hours.

“He eventually rang the emergency services and pretended that he had just found the body unexpectedly.”

Rodrigues went on to lie to an officer at the scene, saying he cut his hand carving a chicken on Christmas Day, although more recent CCTV evidence showed him giving a colleague a “high five” at work.

Jurors were shown a picture of the victim’s bare legs with drops of the defendant’s blood on them, with Rodrigues’ DNA, most likely from semen, found on her stomach.

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