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Man convicted of brutal murder of Natasha Morais

A man has been found guilty of brutally murdering a woman at a flat in Leicestershire.

Shannon Grant, 27, was convicted of the murder of Natasha Morais on Tuesday, following a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

The 40-year-old was found unresponsive beneath an Ottoman-style bed in Whetstone, Leicestershire, on 22 June 2023.

Her brother helped police identify Grant, who was subsequently charged with murdering her.

Leicester Time: Man convicted of brutal murder of Natasha Morais
Picture: Leicestershire Police

Leicestershire Police said Miss Morais’s family became concerned for her safety after receiving a text from her phone asking for £2,000 that was needed to pay a fine.

They went to her flat in Loughland Close at about 20:40 BST, but a man they did not know appeared and refused to allow them access.

The family called police, who forced entry to her flat and found Ms Morais, who was pronounced at the scene.

One of her brothers arrived and recognised Grant from the description. He was traced to a flat in Coventry and arrested.

A post-mortem examination concluded Ms Morais died as a result of ligature strangulation and a cable tie, which was recovered from her body, was found to have Grant’s DNA on it, the force said.

Grant was captured on CCTV buying cable ties at a DIY store in Coventry the previous day.

Detective Inspector David Greenhalgh, from East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), was the Senior Investigating Officer.

He said: “Natasha was tragically subjected to a violent assault which sadly led to her death. She was a much-loved daughter, sister, aunt and friend who will be forever missed by those who knew her.

Leicester Time: Man convicted of brutal murder of Natasha Morais
Picture: Leicestershire Police

“Grant’s refusal to acknowledge his involvement has provided little explanation as to the motive for her murder so we can only infer given the urgent request to her family for a significant amount of money, that there was some type of financial element behind it.

“I am pleased that the jury saw through Grant’s lies and that we will now face many years behind bars for the callous and horrendous crime he committed.”

Sentencing will take place on 21 March.