Murder accused had been ‘out for revenge’
BRAZILIAN MAN IS ON TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF CLONROCHE MAN JASON (JAY) BANVILLE
THE TRIAL of man accused of murdering a Clonroche man in last October has heard that the defendant was ‘out for revenge’ when he allegedly stabbed the deceased and his friend.
Juraci Da Silva (36), originally from Brazil, with an address at Park Lane, Waterford, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of dad-of-three James Banville (28) at New Street, Waterford, on October 8, 2016. His plea was not accepted by the State and he is on trial at the Central Criminal Court. He also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Taghmon man Conor Hogan and not guilty to a third count.
A Brazilian man was out for revenge when he stabbed another man to death after being assaulted in the early hours of the morning, a prosecution barrister told a murder trial jury last Tuesday.
Juraci Da Silva (36), with an address at Park Lane in Waterford 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.
He also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Taghmon man Conor Hogan and he pleaded not guilty to a third count of producing a knife. All charges relate to the same location and date.
Opening the trial, John O’Kelly SC for the prosecution told the jury they would see CCTV footage showing that Mr Banville and Mr Hogan twice assaulted the accused over a 20 minute period but then left him and walked away. After a little hesitation, he said, Mr Da Silva followed the two men, produced a long knife and inflicted the fatal injury on Mr Banville. He said Mr Hogan was also injured but recovered fully.
Counsel said it was about 2.55 a.m. when the first assault on the accused happened. The city centre was busy. The pubs and nightclubs had closed and people were wandering around, getting food or heading home. Bar workers, having finished their shifts, were on the street.
Mr Da Silva first met the deceased and Conor Hogan on John’s Lane, where he talked to them before they assaulted him. Mr Da Silva then went to his nearby home and changed his clothes, reemerging after a short time wearing a red jacket. Less than 20 minutes after the first assault Mr Da Silva is seen on CCTV talking to two women when Mr Hogan and Mr Banville walked by, saw Mr Da Silva, and assaulted him again.
Mr O’Kelly said these assaults do not reflect ‘any credit’ on Mr Hogan or Mr Banville, but they then left the area and walked to an adjoining street.
Mr Da Silva ran after them, produced a knife, and the third and fatal confrontation took place at New Street at about 3.15 a.m.
Mr O’Kelly said that if a person is assaulted they are entitled to defend themselves but not to seek revenge.
‘That is what happened here,’ he said, adding that in a civilised society victims of assault go to the gardai.
Counsel said the jury might feel anger or even outrage over the first two assaults but that hurt feelings cannot justify such a ‘terrible revenge’.
He added: ‘When he followed them in to New Street and produced a knife that wasn’t self defence, they weren’t attacking him. They had gone away in to the next street so anything he did at that stage could never amount to self defence.’
Mr O’Kelly further explained to the jury that for an unlawful death to be murder, the accused person must have intended to kill or cause serious injury. He added that the only possible intent when a person stabs someone in the chest is at least to cause ‘very serious injury’.
At the beginning of the trial Colman Cody SC for the defence told the jury that it is accepted that Mr Da Silva inflicted the wound that led to the death of Mr Banville and that he used the knife found near the scene.
The jury saw CCTV footage of the movements of the three men in the build up to the fatal knife attack.
An alleged victim of an assault in which his friend died described the lead-up to the fatal stabbing.
Conor Hogan from Taghmon told prosecution counsel John O’Kelly SC that he was out with his friend James Banville celebrating his first week in a new job on October 8, 2016. He described how they drank in a few pubs and twice assaulted Brazilian national Juraci Da Silva on the streets of Waterford City before Mr Da Silva ran after them and stabbed them, leaving Mr Hogan needing stitches and Mr Banville dead from his injuries.
Taking the stand Mr Hogan said he met James Banville at about 5 p.m. in Wexford, went to a friend’s house nearby and then drove to Waterford City, arriving at about 10 p.m. They went to some pubs in the city centre, including Sinnott’s and Mason’s. Later on he said he met Mr Da Silva in an alleyway identified in court as Cross Lane.
The witness told counsel: ‘He wouldn’t go away. He kept on coming over and we told him to go away and he wouldn’t so we hit him. Me and J (Mr Banville) hit him.’
Mr Hogan said he and Mr Banville then went to a pub but he couldn’t remember if they were able to get in. They then decided to return to the car, which was parked on Newgate Street to the north of the city centre. On their way they met Mr Da Silva again at the steps of the Park Lane Apartments where Mr Hogan said he assaulted Mr Da Silva again. Mr Banville and Mr Hogan then walked on towards the car but as they walked along New Street he heard the accused ‘shouting and screaming’ and running towards them.
He said: ‘He ran at me and stabbed me and then he ran at J and he stabbed J.’
At first he didn’t realise that Mr Da Silva had a knife but then Mr Banville collapsed.
Mr Hogan required about ten stitches.
The jury also saw CCTV footage showing the movements of Mr Banville and Mr Hogan and the accused man on the night. Detective Sergeant Michael Cawley told defence counsel Cephas Power BL that the two assaults on Mr Da Silva were caught on CCTV but the fatal incident took place in an area not covered by cameras.
The alleged victim of an assault in which his best friend was stabbed to death has denied racially abusing the Brazilian accused, who is now on trial for murder.
Conor Hogan admitted twice assaulting Juraci Da Silva before the Brazilian allegedly stabbed him and his friend James Banville, but denied a third assault and said he couldn’t remember telling Mr Da Silva to ‘go back to your own country’.
During cross examination last Thursday defence counsel Colman Cody SC said a number of people witnessed the first assault on Mr Da Silva in an alleyway in Waterford City centre, known locally as Cross Lanes. He said one of those witnesses would say that they heard Mr Banville or Mr Hogan say: ‘We are done with you now, go back to your own country.’ Another witness would say that he heard someone say: ‘What do you think you are doing here. This is our country.’
Mr Hogan said he could not recall saying anything like that and told Mr Cody that the reason he and Mr Banville assaulted the accused was because he ‘got in our faces’ and wouldn’t go away when told. He said the colour of his skin didn’t matter.
Mr Cody asked: ‘Is it possible you said those kind of things to Mr Da Silva?’ and the witness replied: ‘no’.
Mr Cody then asked if he would deny it if someone accused him
The late Jason (Jay) Banville.