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The Central Criminal Court. Alamy

Josh Dunne trial: Delivery cyclist told Gardaí he was 'not a murderer'

The accused initially considered travelling to Portugal before changing his mind, the court heard.

A FOOD DELIVERY cyclist accused of stabbing schoolboy Josh Dunne to death told Gardaí that he was “definitely not a murderer”, and that he was trying to defend himself on the night.

George Gonzaga Bento (36), a Brazilian national with an address in East Wall in Dublin 3, is charged with murdering the 16-year-old at East Wall Road, East Wall on 26 January, 2021.

Bento is also accused of producing a utility knife in a manner likely to intimidate another in the course of a dispute or fight.

The defendant is further accused of assault causing harm to two other young men on the same occasion.

The delivery cyclist has pleaded not guilty to each of the four counts and said that “justice will show this; the divine justice will show the right way”.

The prosecution alleges that Bento produced a knife during a “stand-off or confrontation” with a man on a moped who had stolen another delivery cyclist’s bike.

Josh Dunne and other youths arrived at the scene and got involved in the confrontation.

The court heard today that in Bento’s first Garda interview on 28 January he said that teenagers punched him in the face and began hitting him. 

“I was trying to stop one of his punches but I ended up stabbing him. I had my hand raised showing them to stop. Another man came and kicked me in the side and I ended up stabbing him as well,” he said.

When detectives put it to Bento that in six seconds he had stabbed one youth three times and that Josh Dunne was dead, the accused said: “All of that is a mistake. I shouldn’t have stopped the bike being stolen as I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that. This is something I’ll regret for the rest of my life”.

That night, Bento said his fiancee suggested that they leave Ireland and they thought it was a good idea to go to Portugal.

Whilst in the airport, Bento said he saw on the news that “a guy had passed away”, so they decided to stay in Ireland and look for an Irish solicitor to defend him.

He continued: “I want to say I’m very sorry for something like this to happen. This has changed a family’s story. I’m open to assisting. I’m deeply sorry for the loss. I’ve kids myself and know how great the impact can be”.

Alison O'Riordan