Thursday 19 October 2017

Brazilian man accused of murdering another man on a city street was racially abused and assaulted for no reason, court hears

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Eoin Reynolds

A Brazilian accused of murdering a man on a city street was racially abused and assaulted for no reason by the deceased and another man, a witness has told his trial.

Juraci Da Silva (36), with an address at Park Lane Apartments in Waterford, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of 28-year-old James Banville at New Street in Waterford on October 8, 2016. His plea was not accepted by the State and he is on trial at the Central Criminal Court. Mr Da Silva has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Conor Hogan causing him harm and to a charge of producing a knife on the same date and at the same place.

Melanie Byrne told today told prosecuting counsel John O'Kelly SC that she saw a foreign looking man, who was "minding his own business", being racially abused. "I was kind of shocked," she said. She then saw the men punch the accused "for no reason".

It is the prosecution's case that the two Irish men were Conor Hogan and James Banville while the foreign man was the accused, who later stabbed Mr Banville to death.

The trial continues this afternoon in front of Justice Michael White and a jury of six men and six women.

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