Sister of accused testifies in bog murder trial

Wednesday 08 May 2013 21.04
Bruno Lemes De Sousa's body was found in a bog in Kerry last year
Bruno Lemes De Sousa's body was found in a bog in Kerry last year

A woman whose brother and former partner are charged with the murder of a Brazilian man in Kerry has said she lied when gardaí first asked her if she knew where the missing man was.

Sandra Cawley was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of John Paul Cawley, 20, and Wenio Rodrigues Da Silva, 29, both of Ardoughter, Ballyduff, Co Kerry.

Both men deny the murder of 28-year-old Brazilian Bruno Lemes De Sousa.

Mr De Sousa's body was found by gardaí in Shronowen Bog, near Listowel, in March last year.

Continuing her evidence at the Central Criminal Court in Tralee today, Ms Cawley described seeing the deceased looking terrified, with blood coming down his face, and his hands tied, after he was brought downstairs from the attic.

She told Prosecuting Senior Counsel Conor Devally she knew something bad was going to happen.

She claimed Mr Da Silva put him into one car, with her brother Charlie in the back, while she and her brother JP, together with her two young children, got into a second car.

She said they drove to the bog, where her brother JP and Mr Da Silva brought a struggling Mr De Sousa away.

On their return, she asked what happened, and Mr Da Silva told her not to worry, that Mr De Sousa was dead.

She said she told him there was no point in killing Mr De Sousa over "something stupid".

She also described a conversation she overheard in the car in which she claimed JP Cawley said he stabbed the deceased once, and that Mr Da Silva did most of the stabbing.

When she got home, Mr Da Silva told her to clean up the laundry room, where there was blood, but she got sick of mopping it up and told him to mop up his own dirty work.

The following day, after collecting her social welfare, she told the court that she, JP Cawley and Mr Da Silva went back to the bog to look for the body.

She described being very shaken up and nervous after seeing him floating in the bog with his hands tied.

She claimed that Mr Da Silva had texted the dead man's girlfriend on his mobile phone, claiming he was in Cork and that he owed money to "travellers and Brazilian men".

However, the girlfriend became suspicious and reported Mr De Sousa missing to gardaí.

When gardaí from Gort called to Ms Cawley's house in Ballyduff, she first lied to them, but later told them the truth, she said.

The trial continues tomorrow.