A food delivery cyclist accused of murdering schoolboy Josh Dunne has denied that he acted the "hard man" on the night and wanted to deal with the situation himself while armed with a knife, rather than involve gardaí.

George Gonzaga Bento was being cross-examined by the State in his murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The father-of-two also disagreed that whilst the attack on him and his fellow delivery cyclist by a man on a moped and a group of youths was "ugly, violent and unlawful" there was no real attack on his life that night.

Mr Bento, 36, a Brazilian national with an address in East Wall in Dublin 3, is charged with murdering 16-year-old Josh Dunne at East Wall Road, East Wall on 26 January 2021.

He 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.

Mr Bento has pleaded not guilty to each of the four counts.

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The prosecution alleges that Mr 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.

Mr Bento told gardaí in his interviews that he had used a knife to defend himself from the man on the moped and the gang of youths.

He said it was only his intention to intimidate them when he took out the knife and make them go away. He said he stabbed the first and second males who punched and attacked him as he was scared and wanted to protect himself.

The accused broke down yesterday as he told his barrister, Padraig Dwyer SC, that he considers himself a good person and that his intention was never to hurt anyone.

He told the jury yesterday that Josh Dunne and another youth had "come for" and attacked him and he was trying to defend himself.

At the outset of his cross-examination, Mr Bento agreed with Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, that he did not dispute that he caused injuries which led to the death of Josh Dunne, three stab injuries to another young male and a stab injury to a third male.

Mr Guerin put it to the accused that the prosecution accepted that he was lawfully entitled to recover the stolen bike that night.

However, counsel put it to Mr Bento that he should not have taken a knife out in confrontation with the man on the moped and in the fight with the teenagers and then repeatedly stab three males with it.

Mr Bento replied that his life was at risk and he did so to preserve his life and that of his friend.

Counsel also put it to the accused that it was the State's case that he had used unreasonable force on the night. The accused said he disagreed with this proposition.

Counsel further put it to the defendant that he went after the man on the moped not just to help, but to give him [the man on the moped] a fright.

"I don't believe if I ask the thief to give the bike back that it's enough," Mr Bento said.

He agreed that he had "pulled the knife" on the man when he was under no immediate threat, but disagreed that he had acted "the hard man" on the night.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Burns and the 12 jurors.