“Relaxed” Brit accused of beating Portuguese to death pleads not guilty

A young Briton accused of beating a Portuguese man to death has pleaded not guilty via video link. Answering to the charge of murder of 45-year-old João Esteves from Lisbon, 23-year-old Daniel Palmer told Lewes Crown Court that he is innocent.
Reporting on the hearing, the UK’s Crawley News said Palmer “looked relaxed, leaning to one side in his chair throughout the hearing”, which has now been deferred for various reports.
A trial date has been set for July 21 and is expected to last up to three weeks.
The Crawley News has been closely following the story as Esteves was bludgeoned to death in the Three Bridges area of the town earlier this year – days after arriving in the UK in the hope of finding work.
Esteves is thought to have fallen into financial difficulties and was reported to have been attempting to return to Portugal. He had even tried to spend the night at a shelter, but because the shelter was full, staff had given him a blanket and advised him to sleep rough.
It was not long afterwards that Esteves was attacked and left dying from head injuries in an alleyway.
Taking Palmer’s plea Judge Shani Barnes set a deadline of May 2 for reports to be completed – including CCTV records and a psychiatric evaluation. A pre-trial review has been earmarked for June, and once again this will take place via video link.
Meantime, Palmer remains in custody in Lewes Prison, writes the Crawley News.