A MURDERER who was caught after he sent a “trophy” picture of his dying victim to a friend has been jailed for life.

Daniel Palmer, 24, battered Joao Esteves before filming the injured man lying in a Crawley alleyway.

Mr Esteves, 45, was visiting England for a job interview but died from serious head injuries after being found in the alleyway at 3.25am on January 19.

Palmer, of Maunsell Park, Station Hill, Crawley, denied murder but was convicted after a four-week trial at Lewes Crown Court.

He was told he would serve a minimum of 15 years.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Taylor, who led the police investigation, said: "Palmer carried out a cowardly and vicious attack on Joao Esteves, who had done nothing to provoke him.”

He added: "He even took photographs and filmed his victim after he had carried out the attack that he sent to friends almost as a trophy, as if to brag about what he had done.”

The court heard how Mr Esteves had come to England from his home country, Portugal, for the job interview but had nowhere to stay and was preparing to sleep rough for the night before getting his flight home at Gatwick.

Palmer repeatedly punched him in the forecourt of Kwik Fit, off Haslett Avenue East, on Saturday January 18, before leading him to a nearby alleyway where he carried on attacking him.

He filmed the injured Mr Esteves using his mobile phone after the attack at Kwik Fit and then took more pictures of his victim lying critically wounded in the alleyway between Stephenson Way and Haslett Avenue East.

He then sent a photograph of the victim after the attack to a friend who alerted police after seeing news coverage of the death.

Palmer was arrested and later charged with murder. The court heard how he had gone home after the attack and washed his clothes before going back to the scene and brazenly chatting to police officers investigating.

DCI Taylor added: "Mr Esteves was an innocent visitor to Sussex who had the misfortune to come across a violent thug who took his life."