Grantham
March 24, 2021 10.54 am

Prosecutors explain why they dropped manslaughter charge after mum’s death following assault

Man initially charged with unlawfully killing partner

The Crown Prosecution Service have explained why they withdrew a charge of manslaughter faced by a Grantham man who was accused of unlawfully killing his partner.

Julio Jesus, 31, was charged with unlawfully killing his partner Daniela Espirito Santo who died within hours of being assaulted by him.

But on Tuesday Jesus was cleared of her manslaughter after medical experts were unable to prove a direct link between the assault and her death.

Lincoln Crown Court was told that Jesus attacked Daniela Espirito Santo during an argument at the small flat they shared in Chestnut Grove, Grantham.

Jesus climbed on top of her and put his forearm across her throat making it difficult for her to breathe.

After a few seconds he released her and she told him to leave the flat, but as he did so he pushed the front door against her, trapping her behind it.

Ms Santo contacted police to report the assault at 9.45am on April 8, 2020 and Jesus was arrested later the same day.

Ms Santo, who was shielding because of her health problems, was found dead at 11.30pm, almost 14 hours after she reported being assaulted.

Police launched a murder investigation folowing the discovery of her body. Following an investigation Jesus was charged with manslaughter but on Tuesday the prosecution offered no evidence on that charge.

Daniela’s mother Isabel, in a victim impact statement, spoke about the decision to drop the manslaughter charge saying “As a family we cannot understand because we believe Julio Jesus is responsible for Daniela’s death.”

Jesus, 31, of Beechcroft Road, Grantham, admitted a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm arising from the original incident on the morning of April 8, 2020.

He also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm as a result of a previous incident on March 28, 2020.

He was jailed for 10 months which is expected to lead to his release from custody, where he has been held on remand since the charges.

Lincolnshire Police had to report the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) because Ms Santo had contacted the force in the run up to her death.

The IOPC has completed an investigation but does not expect to release its findings until an inquest is held into Ms Santo’s death.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We have completed our independent investigation into Lincolnshire Police’s response to a number of domestic incidents reported by Miss Daniela Espirito Santo prior to her death. We are in the course of liaising with Ms Santo’s family and Lincolnshire Police.

“We do not expect to be in a position to issue our findings publicly until the conclusion of future inquest proceedings.”

The Crown Prosecution Service last night (Tuesday) explained their decision not to charge Jesus with manslaughter and said they had been in touch with Ms Santo’s family.

A CPS spokesperson said: “Following a review of expert medical reports, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a manslaughter conviction.

“As a result, this charge was withdrawn. Julio Jesus pleaded guilty to two counts of ABH and was sentenced to 10 months in custody. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Ms Santo’s loved ones at this difficult time.

“Violence of this kind is unacceptable and we want every victim to come forward with confidence that when our legal test is met, we will always prosecute.”

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