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Life for killer pair who left victim to rot in lonely bog

TWO men began a life sentence last night for the brutal murder of a Brazilian they stabbed 64 times and left to rot in a bog.

A jury at the Central Criminal Court deliberated for an hour and a half before returning a unanimous verdict.

Father-of-two Wenio Rodrigues da Silva (29) and John Paul Cawley (20) of Ardoughter, Ballyduff, Co Kerry, had denied the murder of Bruno Lemes de Sousa at Shronowen Bog, Tullamore, Listowel, on February 16 or 17, 2012.

Cawley had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the jury rejected his claim of diminished responsibility.

As Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan sentenced them to life, Cawley nodded. His co-accused appeared to be in shock.


Their 28-year-old Brazilian victim had been beaten with a wheel brace, tied up and held captive in the attic of a rented house in Ballyduff where he pleaded with them to spare his life and even offered money to set him free.

His captors took pictures of him on a mobile phone that were sent to a friend, showing him bleeding from the head.

Mr de Sousa was then bundled into a car and brought to a remote bog before being stabbed repeatedly and left to die in a drain, where his badly decomposed body was found almost a month later.

He had been stabbed 64 times in the face, neck, chest, arms and stomach.

Knife wounds on his hands revealed he had probably held these up in an ultimately futile gesture of self-defence.

His girlfriend, Patricia Silva, who was in the public gallery, had last seen him on February 16 when he left their home in Gort to travel to Co Kerry to sell a car. She expected him home later that night.

Two days after his death, she received the first of 54 text messages that she initially believed to have been from Bruno, whom she had reported missing to gardai in Gort on February 18.

Cawley's family – including his sister Sandra and brother Charlie – who were in the Ballyduff house while Mr de Sousa was held captive and later travelled to the bog where he was murdered, were not in court.

Both had given evidence against their brother and Sandra's ex, da Silva.