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Bodybuilder ‘killed transgender escort wife after catching her sleeping with client’

Vanessa Santillan
Vanessa Santillan

24-year-old Joaquin Gomez-Hernandez murdered his transgender prostitute wife after he found her having sex with a client in their home, a court in the UK heard.

33-year-old Vanessa Santillan, who was described by prosecutor Brendan Finucane QC as 'a post-operative transgender' woman was found dead in her apartment in Fulham, London, on the 28th of March.

She had been working as a female escort throughout her marriage to Gomez-Hernandez,

The court was told that her bodybuilder husband murdered her after finding her sleeping with a client.

On the 27th of March Miss Santillan and Mr Gomez-Hernandez went out clubbing with a gay man dressed as a woman and two transgender female friends.

The group returned to Miss Santillan’s apartment in the early hours of the morning to continue drinking.

At 5am the victim was contacted by a client via the website, the court heard.

The man arrived at 6am and went to the bedroom with Miss Santillan while her friends and husband stayed in the lounge.

Mr Finucane told the court:

"While engaged in sexual activity the defendant came into the room and was glaring at them.

"The deceased said or looked as if to say 'Not now'. There was brief conversation and the defendant said he wanted his keys.

"The sexual activity was completed. He had used a condom and then left by taxi at 6.31am."

The court was also told that upon finding them Mr Gomez-Hernandez burst into tears, telling his wife: "It's like you don't take me seriously."

The defendant then left at 7am to continue drinking at a friend’s house while his wife remained behind, jurors heard.

CCTV footage captured Gomez-Hernandes leaving the apartment block with a blue bag at 2:53pm.

He then visited a local shop where a staff member noticed he had a large quantity of cash.

It was also noted that he had scratches on his face.

Gomez-Hernandez then visited a brothel in Harrington Gardens in Fulham at 4.45pm and had sex with two escorts, the court heard.

The defendant then returned to a friend’s apartment and claimed that his wife wasn’t answering the door.

His friends then watched as he climbed through a window into the flat before telling them: "Vanessa is on the floor, something has happened to her."

Upon entry the group found Miss Santillan lying next to the sofa.

Gomez-Hernandez, nicknamed Coco then flagged down an ambulance and told police he left his wife in bed to go shopping, suggesting that she had been killed by a client.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder by police at 9.45pm, the court heard.

The Old Bailey heard that the couple had come to the UK two months prior and that Miss Santillan had worked as a female escort throughout her marriage to Gomez-Hernandez.

The trial continues