Sunday 30 April 2017

Life sentence cannot bring my mother back, says son

Victim was stabbed more than 50 times, leaving wounds in the shape of a heart

Brian Kavanagh and Edel O'Connell

THE son of a woman who was stabbed more than 50 times by her flatmate -- forming a heart-shape on her stomach -- yesterday told how the life sentence passed down to her murderer would "not bring his mother back".

Marcio Goncalves da Silva (31) had pleaded not guilty to murdering separated mother Joselita Dos Anjos Figueiredo Perieria da Silva, to whom he was not related, on October 22, 2009.

However, da Silva had pleaded guilty to the 33-year-old's manslaughter in the flat they shared above a take-away on Tara Street in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

This was not accepted by the prosecution.

The jury of 10 men and two women deliberated for just over three-and-a-half hours at the Central Criminal Court before finding the Brazilian native guilty of murder by a majority verdict of 11 to 1.

Marcio da Silva gave no reaction as Mr Justice Garret Sheehan imposed the mandatory life sentence, which he backdated to October 22, 2009.

Post-mortem results indicated that the mother of three died from massive internal bleeding, having suffered 51 stab wounds, including as many as three pairs of "through and through" injuries, where the knife entered the body and passed through to exit on the opposite side.

The jury heard that the kitchen knife used to kill Joselita was struck with such force that it fractured her arms on impact and that one of the wounds inflicted was 12cm in depth.

The stab wounds formed a heart-shape on her stomach.

In one of three statements to gardai, da Silva said that he and Joselita had been lovers for around seven months before her death, and that he had paid for her food, rent and clothing.

Relationship

However, the prosecution reminded the jury that the only evidence that da Silva and Joselita had a relationship came from da Silva himself.

The former construction worker said in interview that he had "lost his mind" and repeatedly stabbed the mother-of-three after she had shouted at him during an argument over her decision to spend a third weekend in a row away from their flat and in another town.

He denied stabbing her because he had become jealous of her decision to reunite with her estranged husband and return to Brazil to retrieve her children.

Speaking outside the court, the victim's 19-year-old son Diego said that although justice had been done, nothing would bring his mother back.

"Nothing will bring back the great mother that we had. We didn't just lose a woman here, we lost a mother.

"She was very happy all the time. She was there every time I needed her and every time my brothers needed her," he added.

The victim's cousin Leucimiere Trinclade said that the family were happy with the sentence and that Joselita was a "great woman" who would be missed forever.

Irish Independent

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