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Brazilian man sentenced to eight years for killing man who assaulted and racially abused him

James Banville died from a single stab wound to the heart in October 2016.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

A BRAZILIAN MAN has been sentenced to eight years in prison for killing a man who assaulted and racially abused him.

Juraci Da Silva, 36, with an address at Park Lane Apartments in Waterford, was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter of James ‘Jay’ Banville by a jury at the Central Criminal Court last month.

Banville died from a single stab wound to the heart that was inflicted at New Street in Waterford in the early hours of 8 October 2016.

Da Silva was also found not guilty of assault causing harm to Conor Hogan and guilty of producing a knife during an altercation.

Today Justice Michael White sentenced Da Silva, who came to Ireland to work in a meat factory one month before the fatal incident, to eight years for the manslaughter charge and five years for producing a knife. The sentences will run concurrently and were backdated to 8 October 2016 (when he went into custody).

Justice White said the unlawful killing fell into the “lower range of the highest category” of manslaughter and that the maximum sentence he might impose would be 14 years.

Assaulted by the deceased

Taking into account that Da Silva was twice assaulted by the deceased and Hogan, and that as a Brazilian with no English he will have a harder time in prison, he said eight years would be a “proportionate” term.

He described the killing as a “tragedy of epic proportions” and said he had heard eloquent statements from the deceased’s family about the impact his death had on his parents, partner, children and siblings. He noted that in manslaughter cases sentencing ranges from substantial terms in prison to suspended sentences.

Looking at the facts of the case he said Da Silva was subjected to two “very serious assaults” by the deceased and Hogan. The first assault was accompanied by racial comments and the second by sexual comments “of a very damaging nature”.

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Following the second assault Da Silva was no longer under threat, the two men having moved to the top of the street and turned down another street. He had earlier armed himself with a knife and now decided to go after these two men. During the third and fatal confrontation Da Silva did not try to run away. Taking into account all these factors, Justice White said he had to take the view that this is a “very serious offence”.

He noted that, through his profession, Da Silva had a knowledge of the dangers of knives, armed himself with a knife, was prepared to use it and did use it in a lethal manner. He said there was no need for Banville to die, leaving a grieving family behind.

Justice White further noted that Da Silva was a hard working man with no previous convictions and had been out that night having a good time and did not show any aggression during the earlier assaults.

Da Silva did not react when the sentence was revealed. The legal teams have 28 days to to lodge an appeal against the sentence.

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