Mum who suffered 51 stab wounds tried to fight off her attacker, murder trial hears
A 33-year-old Brazilian woman tried to defend herself from her attacker but died after receiving as many as 51 stab wounds, her murder trial at the Central Criminal Court has heard.
Marcio Goncalves da Silva has pleaded not guilty to murdering separated mother Joselita Dos Anjos Figueiredo Perieria da Silva, to whom he was not related, on October 22, 2009.
However, Mr da Silva has pleaded guilty to the 33-year-old's manslaughter in the flat they shared above a takeaway on Tara Street in Tullamore. This was not accepted by the prosecution.
Deputy State pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar told Mr Patrick Gageby, prosecuting, that a post-mortem examination indicated there were 51 stab wounds on Joselita's body, including what he described as a number of defence wounds on her arms and hands.
Dr Jabbar told the court it was possible that a single blow from the knife used was sufficient to create three wounds, as it struck with such force that it may have penetrated the left upper arm clean through before continuing on in to the side of the body.
He agreed with Mr Gageby that Joselita may have suffered as many as three pairs of similar "through and through" injuries, where the knife entered the body and passed through to exit on the opposite side, and that she died of massive internal bleeding.
The trial earlier heard how Mr da Silva told gardai that he had been in a relationship with Joselita for approximately seven months before her death, and that he paid for her food, rent and clothing.
The former construction worker said in interview that he had "lost his mind" and repeatedly stabbed his lover after she had shouted at him during an argument over her decision to spend a third weekend in a row away from their flat and in another town.
He denied stabbing her because he had become jealous of her decision to reunite with her estranged husband and return to Brazil.
Mrs Margaret Dillon testified that shortly before her death Joselita told her that there had been a rapprochement with her husband and that she was planning to bring her children to Ireland from Brazil.
Joselita's former employer agreed with Mr Gageby that the separated mother seemed happy at the prospect of reuniting with her estranged husband.
However, Mrs Dillon agreed with counsel for the defence, Mr Colm Smyth, that on one occasion Joselita had claimed that her husband had beaten her up and asked if she could stay in the rooms over the public house in Drumlish which Mrs Dillion operated.
Mrs Dillion agreed that when Joselita's husband subsequently arrived at the pub looking to speak with his wife, she exited the building through a window and ran through a field in an effort to get away from him.
She agreed with Mr Smyth that Joselita was afraid of her husband and at one point had secured a barring order against him.
Mrs Dillion also agreed that she had made a statement where she stated that Joselita seemed to have "loads" of money and that her phone never stopped ringing while she was working at the public house, and Mrs Dillion often wondered "what she was up to".
However, she told the court that Joselita may have had a lot of male company because she was very friendly and people knew her from the bar.
The prosecution concluded its case yesterday afternoon and closing arguments in the trial before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury were due to begin today.