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Tragic Norfolk link to Portugal’s Euro 2016 match-winner

PUBLISHED: 09:46 16 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:01 16 July 2016

Portugal players celebrate after Eder (centre) scores his side's goal in the final against France. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Portugal players celebrate after Eder (centre) scores his side's goal in the final against France. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

PA Wire

The father of Portugal’s Euro 2016 final-winning hero Eder is in prison for the murder of the former Swansea star’s step-mum in Norfolk in 2002, it has emerged.

2/2  Pic for File .. Tony Lopes partner to murder victim  Domingas Olivais. edp 19/7/022/2 Pic for File .. Tony Lopes partner to murder victim Domingas Olivais. edp 19/7/02

The forward, who scored the winning goal against France in the final last week, claimed his father was nearing the end of a 16-year sentence for the killing in an interview with Portugese TV.

Eder, whose full name is Ederzito Antonio Macedo Lopes, said he was just 12 when his father was convicted but after he started earning money had visited him in prison every time he came to England.

Filomeno Antonio Lopes was convicted in October 2003 of killing Domingas Olivais, 30, and told he must serve at least 16 years behind bars as he was handed a life sentence.

A jury at Norwich Crown Court heard Lopes collected his partner from work in his car in April 2002, struck her with a steering wheel lock, strangled her and then dumped her body in the River Bure near Great Yarmouth.

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tony lopes and domingas olivais een 23/9/02copy pic tony lopes and domingas olivais een 23/9/02

Freak weather conditions meant her body travelled upstream where it was found on a sandbank instead of being washed out to sea.

Mr Justice Butterfield, setting Lopes’ tariff at 16 years at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, said he had defiled Miss Olivais’ body with a dead piece of wood and ruled there was a “significant degree” of premeditation and planning.

He told the Guinea Bissau-born asylum seeker: “This was a brutal killing of an innocent woman.”

Lopes was wanted by police in Portugal when he killed his partner in connection with three armed robberies against elderly women.

Reports at the time said Lopes had invented his past to get into Britain with his victim, claiming to be fleeing civil war in his West African homeland when he was really the subject of an extradition order over the armed robberies.

The couple are understood to have met as children in Guinea Bissau, where Eder was born and spent the first two years of his life before moving to Portugal where his dad was already living.

Lopes and Ms Olivais lived at a hotel in Yarmouth while waiting for their asylum application to be processed after arriving in the UK in the 90s.

They had fled to England from the African state of Guinea Bissau in the early 1990s.

The jury heard Lopes had strangled her thinking she had had an affair then dumped her body in the river.

A family on a Broads cruiser spotted her body on the muddy banks of the River Bure on April 28, 2002.

Lopes told police he had taken Ms Olivais back to the hotel where they lived, then went to a nearby Macdonalds for a burger.

But the court heard he had not appeared on any CCTV footage taken inside the restaurant.

Lopes, 37 when he was convicted, has always denied involvement in her death and claimed she disappeared after he dropped her off.

Ms Olives was studying hairdressing at Great Yarmouth College at the time of her murder and worked as a cleaner at the town’s Asda supermarket.

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