kind words | 

Knife death schoolboy Josh Dunne's mum says she will fight for son until day she dies

George Gonzaga Bento was found not guilty of any offence in relation to the fatal stabbing of the 16-year-old
Josh Dunne’s mother, Dianne

Josh Dunne’s mother, Dianne

Neil Fetherstonhaugh & Eoin Reynolds

The mother of schoolboy Josh Dunne has said she will keep fighting for her son until the day she dies after a jury found a delivery cyclist not guilty on all counts over his death.

Earlier today, George Gonzaga Bento was found not guilty of any offence in relation to the fatal stabbing of the 16-year-old by a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

He was also acquitted of two charges of assault causing harm and of producing a knife in a manner likely to intimidate others.

Taking to Facebook, the teen’s mother, Diane Dunne, thanked everyone for “their kind words but I'm not going down easy I'll keep fighting for Josh ontill the day I die (sic).”

Mr Bento said he was acting in self-defence after being attacked by a gang when he and a friend tried to retrieve a stolen bike.

He said he pulled out a utility knife that he carried for cutting fruit and stabbed three people, including 16-year-old Josh.

The prosecution said that Mr Bento exaggerated the danger he faced and knew at the time that the force he used was not necessary to repel the attack.

The jury took a little over eight hours to come to their unanimous verdicts following a six-week trial.

In relation to the murder charge, trial judge Mr Justice Paul Burns told the jury that if it is reasonably possible that the accused acted in defence of himself or another and used no more force than was necessary, then he should be found not guilty.

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

Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

Mr Bento also denied producing a utility knife in a manner likely to intimidate another in the course of a dispute or fight and denied assault causing harm to two other young men on the same occasion.

The prosecution alleged 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 took the stand during the trial and said that he and his friend Guillherme Quieroz had followed a bike thief through Dublin but when they tried to retrieve the stolen bike they were set on by a gang of men and youths.

Mr Bento said he feared for his life and that of his friend and that he used the knife to defend them from serious injury or death. He said he believed that his actions saved his and Mr Quieroz's lives.


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