Crawley man in court charged with murder

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A Crawley man has appeared in court charged with murder.

A jury was sworn in on Monday at the start of the trial into the death of Joao Esteves.

Mr Esteves, 45, from Portugal, was found lying unconscious in an alleyway off Haslett Avenue East in Three Bridges at 3:25 am on January 19. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Daniel Palmer, 23, of Maunsell Park, Station Hill, Three Bridges, pleaded not guilty to his murder.

Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a dark red tie, Palmer spoke only to confirm his identity, before Judge Anthony Scott-Gall.

Evidence in the trial will begin today (Wednesday). The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.

Seven men and five women have been sworn in as jurors.

Mr Esteves arrived in the UK at Gatwick Airport just days before his death to find work. He had been living with his mother in Portugal.

He returned to the airport just two days later after failing to get a job and started to sleep rough while he attempted to find a way to earn money to pay for the ticket back to Portugal.

Staff at Gatwick Airport and Sussex Police checked on him and he was seen preparing to sleep at the airport.

Police and airport staff gave him the details of Crawley Open House homeless hostel.

He arrived just after 10pm on Saturday January 18 and was given food and bedding but told there were no beds and advised to wait outside the gate until the hostel reopened the next day. He was attacked just hours later.

The trial continues.