A young woman committed suicide following years of abuse by a convicted violent con man and harbored a secret second wife, according to an investigation.
Daniela Steppin was found lifeless in her home on August 8 final year, following years of abuse by her husband “Johnny,” the hearing.
Now, Samantha, Daniela’s grieving sister, is speaking for the first time about the family’s grief.
Known by his pen name Johnny or Raja Rez, 41, previously known as Rizwan Javid, was imprisoned with his brother Rehan Javid following a £1m fraud case in 2013.
Assistant coroner Michael Williams heard evidence in the investigation final month that Johnny was violent towards 28-year-old Daniela, used her home to grow cannabis plants in her, and stole money from her.
Samantha’s mother, 30, from Nelson, Lancashire says: ‘My sister was lovely, hardworking and smart. She had her whole life ahead of her, but Johnny took grip of her and broke her until she was the shadow of the person she was.
“It was so painful to watch her fade away like that. I did my best to make her see what it was, but she was under his control.”
The two sisters, originally from Poland, came to the UK ten years ago and were very close.
Samanta says, “I was two years older and so Daniela forever borrowed my clothes and makeup; we fought a lot when we were young. But as we got older, we were best friends. We saw each other every day.”
“Daniella was really hardworking, had two jobs, and was in college, studying accounting. She was lovely, really enchanting. She liked the gym and she liked motorcycles too.
“She was on the TV show, In for a Penny, and she loved it. It was packed of fun.”
In October 2019, she met Daniela Raja Reese, better known as Johnny, who was thirteen years her senior.
Samantha says; “I had my doubts about Johnny right away. He seemed so bossy, he was obsessed with her, but he was really impolite to me really.
“Daniella couldn’t see her. She was so emotional, she followed her heart, and she was desperate to settle down and have a family. She really wanted children. I thought Johnny would donate her all that.”
The couple moved in together at the end of 2019, and Johnny worked lengthy hours every day.
Samantha says, “Friends told me that Johnny was already married, but he convinced Daniela that he had broken up and filed for divorce. Johnny was planning a big wedding, and she was so excited.
“I tried to talk to Daniela but she resented my criticism of Johnny. She was fascinated by him.
“He bought her jewelry and flowers and proposed a lovely ring to her. I later found out that his wife had the exact alike ring.
“I also found out that Johnny had no work, but he was spending days with his wife and nights with Daniela.
“Johnny got so controlling, he installed a tracker in Daniela’s car and prevented her from talking to me and the rest of her family. He took her laptop away and took every penny she earned, and now, she had a pleasing job, as an accountant. It caused problems between us.”
In November 2019, the couple got married.
Samanta says: “I did Daniela’s hair and makeup prior the wedding. We were supposed to have an Islamic party and then a big party, which Johnny organized.
“Johnny took us to a house in Manchester for a Muslim wedding. And when it came to his signature on the register, he wrote a distinct name.
“We thought there would be celebrations following that, but nothing happened. It was a weird day. Daniela had a heroic confront, but I knew she was really perturb.”
Daniela had two miscarriages following her wedding and Johnny continued to dominate her. In April 2020, he heard the investigation, found out that he was still living with his wife, and she expelled him.
“I went with her to confront him because she was scared and he was very combative, he screamed at me and when I stood up he went to hit me,” Samantha says.
Daniela seemed to be coping well with the split, as she bought a unused home and focused on her job. But by July, Johnny had wormed back into her life.
“He took money from her, brought cannabis plants into her house, and was abusing her,” says Samantha. “She wanted him to leave but he totally controlled her. I was so frustrated with her; we were all. We could see something bad was going to happen.”
According to the evidence in the interrogation from Daniela’s girlfriend, Ngissa Kozer, and Samantha, the marriage began to deteriorate due to Johnny’s behavior.
The court heard how violent Johnny was with Daniela, controlled her dress code, and even tried to get her to steal from her workplace, Lanx Live reports.
At night he was accompanied by Daniela but he spent his days with his other wife.
The couple separated soon following but got back together when Johnny claimed he had filed for divorce from his other wife.
Daniela purchased her unused home in July 2020 and Johnny moved in shortly thereafter.
There have been suggestions that he never divorced his other wife, and Samantha told the court that he used Daniela’s unused home to grow cannabis plants. The police later found plants in the house.
On August 8, following Johnny stole some of her money and left her again, following promising to reconcile with her.
On the alike day, Daniela committed suicide, the coroner was told.
Samantha says, “I got a call from my dad, who found her body. It broke my heart but at the alike time, it was what I had been scared of all along.
“The police came and wanted to talk to Johnny but he disappeared. We haven’t seen or heard from him since.
“We had her funeral without him. We had a motorbike parade; she would have loved it.”
Giving evidence at an investigation final month, Paul Langley said that despite their conviction that a third party was not involved in Daniela’s death, an investigation found that Johnny, or Rizwan Javid, was of distinguished interest to police.
He said, “Mr Javed changed his name to Raja Rez when he was released from prison, but he also went by the alias Johnny.
“He and his brother were convicted of a big-scale insurance fraud, which was one of the largest in the UK, and under the proceeds of crime crime he had to repay £156,000.
“After Daniela’s death we tried to talk to Johnny but couldn’t locate him. His father said he didn’t know where he was and his brother was very antagonistic to us.
“We tagged him in the National Police database, where we still wanted to interview him about what happened, as we were unable to access Daniela’s phone to read the messages sent between them prior her death, but so far he has not been located.”
Coroner Mark Williams said: “No matter what I may think about Johnny, his behavior and the way he is acting, there is nothing I can relate to within the limitations of the investigation.
“We are not here to assign blame, if there is evidence of unethical behaviour, as opposed to legal infractions, there is nothing I can do, or to the police.”
“Johnny and Daniela broke up in 2020, and she got on with her life.
“There were no problems in Daniela’s life until Johnny showed up again, something her family wasn’t happy with and I can understand why and there were concerns raised during the investigation.
“Unfortunately we will never know what was said between them on August 7, but she made the decision to commit suicide and died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on August 8.”
A medical cause of death by hanging was shown and Mr. Williams was recorded as a suicide.