‘Obsessed man killed housemate after spying on her using secret devices’, court hears

Stephanie Hansen Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

An obsessed man rigged up “secret surveillance devices” to spy on his housemate before stabbing her to death, a court was told.

Sheldon Rodrigues, 30, was allegedly angry that 39-year-old Stephanie Hansen was seeing a married work colleague and embarked on a campaign to disrupt the relationship.

He bought spy devices, used the name of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to send an abusive message via Facebook and complained to their employer, aviation firm Swissport, jurors were told.

The situation allegedly came to a head when Rodrigues learned cargo agent Ms Hansen’s boyfriend had visited her while he was at work.

Shortly before 6am on New Year's Eve, Ms Hansen’s lover, father-of-three Celso Cabillan, left her house in Hayes, west London.

Shift worker Rodrigues had been at work the night before but was listening in on the couple’s date with a Micromax phone hidden in the living room, it was claimed.

Stephanie Hansen. Credit: Metropolitan Police

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, prosecutor Gareth Patterson KC said.

“She was stabbed multiple times into the neck. She was battered repeatedly to her head and face with a blunt object or objects. She suffered serious head injuries that involved the use of severe force," he told jurors.

The defendant denies being the killer, but Mr Patterson said there is a “wealth of evidence” that he is responsible.

After Rodrigues’s arrest, police uncovered messages showing his “long-standing obsession” with Ms Hansen, the court was told. In 2015, he told her “I want u” and she replied “nope”, jurors heard.

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, the court was told.

On one occasion, he sent her a weblink to a see-through “boob tube” top which he said he was going to buy for her and rip off, it was claimed. She responded with the message “yuke”.

In April 2021, the pair moved into a house in Willenhall Drive, Hayes, to share bills. Messages between them suggested there had been some intimacy but Ms Hansen only wanted to be friends.

She wrote: “I knew it was a mistake the first time we went to bed. I should never have done it.”

The defendant begged for another chance and told her he would wait 50 years for her, the jury was told.

Ms Hansen wrote: “All this time u been asking me to move in with you and since we have, I have wanted to move out.”

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, used a phone hidden in a television unit as a listening device, Mr Patterson said.

He spent 158 hours listening in on Ms Hansen while he was at work or visiting India, where he was born, averaging three hours a day, it was claimed.

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

He followed up with another email alleging employees were smoking cannabis at work. Jurors were told he bought a “Spycamera” device later found at the house.

A “spy plug” covert listening device was also found on a shelf in the defendant’s bedroom, the court was told.

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

Two days later, he paid a man £100 to drive him around in a car and follow Mr Cabillan, who realised he was being tailed and reported it to police, the court heard. The defendant denied it.

On December 20, Rodrigues allegedly messaged Ms Hansen to say he had been a “psycho”. But later that evening, he searched “how to make a woman fall in love with him” online, the court heard.

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.”

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Mr Cabillan leaving Ms Hansen’s home early on December 30, with Mr Patterson saying she was alive and well at this time – having sent a string of text messages and used Siri on her iPhone.

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 heard.

While Ms Hansen’s body lay in her bedroom, the defendant visited Boots for bandages for a “deep cut” to his hand which he said he got from “household work”, the court heard.

The defendant 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, prosecutors claimed.

“He eventually rang the emergency services and pretended that he had just found the body unexpectedly," Mr Patterson added.

Rodrigues, of Willenhall Drive, Hayes, west London, denies murder. The trial continues.

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