Mur­der ac­cused ‘out for re­venge’


Wexford People - - NEWS -


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. DAY TWO

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. DAY THREE

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 of racially abus­ing Mr Da Silva.

The wit­ness replied: ‘I don’t know. I would deny it.’

Dur­ing the first as­sault, which hap­pened at about 2.55am, he ac­cepted that Mr Banville punched the ac­cused while Mr Ho­gan ac­cepted that he kneed the ac­cused once in the head and punched him.

De­scrib­ing events be­fore the as­saults, Mr Ho­gan said he trav­elled to Water­ford that evening in Mr Banville’s car. Mr Ho­gan had been drink­ing for most of the day and had a gram of co­caine, which he shared with Mr Banville when they ar­rived in the city. He ac­cepted that they could be seen on CCTV snort­ing co­caine at Cross Lanes in the mo­ments be­fore they as­saulted Mr Da Silva the first time.

Mr Ho­gan ac­cepted that he then as­saulted Mr Da Silva a sec­ond time when, as he and Mr Banville walked to­wards their car, they spot­ted the Brazil­ian talk­ing to two girls out­side an apart­ment block on John’s Street.

The two men then walked on up to­wards New Street where the wit­ness said Mr Da Silva came run­ning to­wards them ‘shout­ing like a crazy man’ and stabbed him and his friend.

Mr Cody put it to Mr Ho­gan that another wit­ness will say that Mr Ho­gan and Mr Banville ran ag­gres­sively to­wards the ac­cused and threw punches at him mo­ments be­fore the stab­bing. Mr Ho­gan said this was not true.

The trial con­tin­ues be­fore Jus­tice Michael White and jury of six men and six women. DAY FOUR

Conor Ho­gan de­nied that he and the de­ceased started the trou­ble that led to a fa­tal knife at­tack on a city street.

Mr Ho­gan told defence coun­sel Col­man Cody SC that the ac­cused man, a Brazil­ian meat fac­tory worker named Ju­raci Da Silva, ‘started it’ when he ap­proached them in an al­ley­way and wouldn’t go away.

He also said he couldn’t re­mem­ber racially abus­ing the Brazil­ian or call­ing him a ‘per­vert’ and a ‘pae­dophile’.

On the sec­ond day of cross ex­am­i­na­tion, Mr Cody put it to the wit­ness that he and Mr Banville pro­voked his client by racially abus­ing him, call­ing him a per­vert and a pae­dophile and by at­tack­ing him.

He replied: ‘I didn’t pro­voke any­one. I as­saulted him.’ He also said he does not re­mem­ber say­ing any­thing to Mr Da Silva, who he ac­cused of ‘get­ting in our faces’ when he came over to him and Mr Banville as they were mind­ing their own busi­ness.

The court has pre­vi­ously heard that Mr Banville and Mr Ho­gan twice as­saulted the ac­cused man in the early hours of the morn­ing. The first time was in an al­ley­way where Mr Banville and Mr Ho­gan were tak­ing co­caine when the ac­cused man ap­proached them and started talk­ing to them.

Mr Ho­gan said that they told him to go away but he didn’t, so they hit him.

Un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion he said that was what started the trou­ble. Less than 20 min­utes later Mr Ho­gan and Mr Banville met the ac­cused again at the nearby Park Lane Apart­ments.

Mr Ho­gan agreed with Mr Cody that the ac­cused had his back turned to them and was not threat­en­ing them in any way when they walked over and struck him a num­ber of times. Min­utes af­ter that as­sault came tehe fi­nal and fa­tal con­fronta­tion.

Mr Cody said other wit­nesses will say that Mr Banville and Mr Ho­gan called the Brazil­ian a per­vert and a pae­dophile while they hit him. Mr Ho­gan said he could not re­mem­ber say­ing that or any­thing else.

When coun­sel asked the wit­ness why he had not told gar­dai the truth about those first two as­saults in three state­ments made in Oc­to­ber 2016 he said he was ‘mixed up’ and wasn’t him­self. ‘My friend got killed,’ he added.

Mr Cody put it to him that the rea­son he didn’t tell gar­dai was be­cause he didn’t want peo­ple to think that he and Mr Banville had ‘started this’.

He replied: ‘He came up to us. We didn’t go up to him.’

The wit­ness also agreed that he had pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions at Wex­ford Dis­trict Court in­clud­ing for a sec­tion 3 as­sault in which Mr Ho­gan and three other males as­saulted a man by punch­ing him in the face in April 2015. He also has a con­vic­tion for bur­glary, sec­tion 3 mis­use of drugs and pub­lic dis­or­der.

Ellen Ward also gave ev­i­dence on Fri­day, say­ing that she wit­nessed the first as­sault on Mr Ju­raci at Cross­lanes. She said that Mr Ju­raci seemed to be mind­ing his own busi­ness when one of the men punched him ‘for no rea­son’ and the other struck him in the head with his knee. One of her friends told them: ‘That’s f ***ing wrong. Leave him alone.’

Af­ter that, she said Mr Ju­raci ran up the hill while the other two stayed around for a while. She told them they should go be­cause the guards would be along and they headed off, only to come back some time later. She did not see the sec­ond at­tack on Mr Ju­raci. DAY FIVE

Me­lanie Byrne yes­ter­day told pros­e­cut­ing coun­sel John O’Kelly SC that she saw a for­eign-look­ing man, who was ‘mind­ing his own busi­ness’, be­ing racially abused. ‘I was kind of shocked,’ she said. She then saw the men punch the ac­cused ‘for no rea­son’. She did not see the for­eign man hit back. ‘He was just try­ing to get away,’ she said.

Un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion she told defence coun­sel Col­man Cody SC that she had seen the same two men ear­lier that night in Sin­nott’s night­club. She said they were ‘ag­gres­sive’ and she could tell they were ‘on some­thing’ and were look­ing for trou­ble. Af­ter leav­ing the club she saw the two men again in the al­ley­way where they were tak­ing drugs just mo­ments be­fore as­sault­ing Mr Ju­raci. ‘I never saw some­one so openly tak­ing drugs,’ the wit­ness said.

When the for­eign look­ing man ap­peared they started shout­ing racial com­ments. She added: ‘It was like they were feed­ing off each other. Mak­ing each other more and more an­gry.’ She saw both of them punch the man. Af­ter­wards she heard one of them say: ‘We are done with you now. Go back to your own coun­try.’ When she con­fronted the two men one of them said to her: ‘We’re Ir­ish, you’re Ir­ish. You should un­der­stand.’

It is the pros­e­cu­tion’s case that the two Ir­ish men were Conor Ho­gan and James Banville while the for­eign man was the ac­cused, who later stabbed Mr Banville to death.

Emily Keogh then gave ev­i­dence re­lat­ing to a sec­ond as­sault on Mr Ju­raci by Mr Ho­gan and the de­ceased. She said Mr Ju­raci ap­proached her and her friend at the steps of the Park Lane apart­ments on John’s Lane. He wasn’t be­ing abu­sive or threat­en­ing but she told him to go away about three or four times. Then two Ir­ish lads came along and overheard what was hap­pen­ing. They said to the man: ‘Fuck off you per­vert. Leave the girls alone.’ The two men then pulled the for­eign man away and she said she heard what sounded like thumps and a man ‘winc­ing in pain’. Su­san Fo­ley was also there and re­mem­bered that she was not ‘overly both­ered’ by the for­eign man but she did ask him to go away. Then she saw two Ir­ish lads come along roar­ing at the for­eign man, call­ing him a per­vert and throw­ing punches and kicks.

Emma Balfe re­called see­ing the third ‘scuf­fle’ at the scene where Mr Banville suf­fered the fa­tal knife wound. She said she saw a for­eign look­ing man shout­ing on the street.

At first she thought he was shout­ing at her so she shouted back, but then he passed her by. When she looked up to­wards New Street she could see that he was fight­ing with two lads, one of whom fell to the ground. When she went over she saw the man’s in­jury and a lot of blood. She at­tempted to do CPR un­til the gar­dai ar­rived.

Evan Rus­sell said he was in his car driv­ing home af­ter work­ing at a nearby bar when he saw the two Ir­ish lads at New Street, run­ning to­wards the for­eign-look­ing man in an ag­gres­sive man­ner and throw­ing punches at him.

He said he could see that one of the men had suf­fered a se­ri­ous in­jury and so he fol­lowed Mr Ju­raci and called gar­dai, lead­ing them to the ac­cused man.

The trial con­tin­ues to­day in front of Jus­tice Michael White and a jury of six men and six women.

The late Ja­son (Jay) Banville.

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