Friday 18 October 2019

Dead man's partner became suspicious over text messages

Bruno Lemes De Sousa
Bruno Lemes De Sousa
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THE girlfriend of a murdered Brazilian received more than 50 text messages purporting to be from him, at least 24 hours after he had been killed.

Patricia Silva first believed the texts to be from Bruno Lemes de Sousa (28) and responded to them, telling him not to worry and if he were in trouble they would work it out.

The unregistered mobile phone from which the messages were sent was recovered by gardai from a rented house in Ardoughter, Ballyduff, Co Kerry, where it is claimed Mr de Sousa was beaten and held captive before being brought to a remote bog where he was stabbed 64 times.

Fellow Brazilian Wenio Rodriquez da Silva (29), and John Paul Cawley (20), both with addresses at Ardoughter, Ballyduff, deny murdering Mr de Sousa at Shronowen Bog, Tullamore, Listowel, Co Kerry, on February 16 or 17, 2012.

A translation of the text messages, which had been sent in Portuguese to Mr de Sousa's girlfriend between February 18 and 20, were read out by prosecuting junior counsel Tom Rice at the Central Criminal Court in Tralee yesterday.

When Ms Silva received the first of these from 'Bruno' on February 18, her boyfriend was already dead.

In it, he explained he could not speak on the phone but there were some people after him. It also warned her not to give the number to anyone.

Ms Silva, who believed the message was from her missing boyfriend, whom she had reported missing to gardai in Gort that day, asked him why he had done this to her without any warning.

A total of 54 messages had been sent to her phone from that number between February 18 and February 20, the court heard.

Danger

The sender warned her that she was in danger of being hurt and to leave Gort, where the couple shared a home.

The sender also claimed he was in trouble with Travellers and wanted protection from them.

Ms Silva pleaded with the person she still believed to be her missing partner to give himself in and that running away was not going to help.

Later messages revealed she had grown suspicious and started asking the sender questions to establish his identity.

She also asked him why he did not answer the phone to her or the gardai.

"Look, if you don't answer for us to talk there is no way. I'm trying to help you and you help me now," she texted.

The sender claimed he was not answering for her safety because he believed her phone was tapped.

Ms Silva texted: "This is really a lie. I only believe if I hear your voice and say love it is me and then turn it off. Otherwise I don't believe it."

The court also heard evidence from Detective Garda Paul Kennedy, who had questioned John Paul Cawley at Tralee garda station, following his arrest on March 11.

Mr Cawley admitted to gardai he had stabbed Mr de Sousa "a few times" but said he didn't know why.

He said he felt "very bad" and was sorry for what he did.

Later, he told gardai he had stabbed Bruno once in the stomach while Wenio held him.

He said earlier at the house in Ardoughter, Mr de Sousa had offered him €10,000 not to kill him but he said he couldn't because he would be stopped.

Mr Cawley told gardai Bruno was crying and had pleaded for his life.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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