Brazilian national jailed for killing Waterford man appeals sentence

Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Brazilian national jailed for killing Waterford man to appeal sentence

Brazilian national jailed for killing Waterford man to appeal sentence

A Brazilian national jailed for killing a man who had assaulted and racially abused him earlier that evening has moved to appeal his sentence. 

Juraci Da Silva, 36, with an address at Park Lane Apartments in Waterford, had admitted killing James 'Jay' Banville at New Street in the city in the early hours of October 8, 2016, but denied it was murder. 

The Central Criminal Court heard that Da Silva had been assaulted twice earlier that evening by the deceased and his friend Conor Hogan. The first assault was accompanied by racial comments and the second by sexual comments "of a very damaging nature," the trial heard. 

After the second assault, the two men moved to the top of the street and turned down another street, while Da Silva, who had earlier armed himself with a knife, decided to go after them.

He was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter and guilty of producing a knife during an altercation. Mr Banville died from a single stab wound to the heart. 

Da Silva was also found not guilty of assault causing harm to Mr Hogan.

Sentencing him to eight years imprisonment in November 2017, Mr Justice Michael White said Da Silva knew the dangers of knives, due to his job in a meat plant. 

Da Silva, who had no previous convictions and three young children in Brazil, had come to Ireland to work in the factory one month before the fatal incident. 

Moving to appeal his sentence on Monday, April 8, his barrister, Colman Cody SC, said the sentence was too high given the context. 

Mr Cody said Da Silva, a man of very slight build, had been subjected to two assaults which were “racially motivated” and “sexually demeaning” earlier that evening. 

But the sentence Da Silva was given would usually be reserved for persons embarking on criminality or persons who used a knife in a sustained assault or burglary, Mr Cody submitted. 

Mr Justice John Edwards remarked that Da Silva armed himself with a knife and used it. He had opportunities to withdraw but did not. 

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, John O’Kelly SC, said the two men were walking up the street posing no threat to Da Silva when he “set off” after them. 

Mr O’Kelly said the prosecution's case was that Da Silva pursued the two men for retribution. 

Mr Cody later added that Da Silva's family in Brazil were “very impoverished.”

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Edwards and Ms Justice Marie Baker, said the court would reserve its judgment.