A jury accepted George Gonzaga Bento's position that he was acting in self-defence after being attacked by a gang when he and a colleague tried to retrieve a stolen bike.
He said he had pulled out a utility knife that he carried for cutting fruit and stabbed three people, including teenager Josh.
The accused 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.
Speaking about the incident, he told Agora Europa: “I push one to one side, then another one comes at me and another one at Guilherme. Until then, we're pushing, kicking, exchanging punches. But when I see that more are coming – the others that were coming across the street are crossing [so] I take out my knife.
“It was just too fast. I pick up the knife in order to scare. I took the knife, I didn't go for him [the biker], he came for me. When he came at me, punching me, kicking me and stuff, I hit this boy, who passed away.
“Then he leaves, sideways, and keeps walking. Then another one comes at me. Then I hit him too. Then they kind of shout among themselves that I had the knife. At that moment, they open and get off Guilherme. Then I go there, get Guilherme. He's already bleeding, all cut up.”
The Brazilian said that he and Quieroz attempted to escape, but three men began to hit his colleague while he was on the ground.
“I look back, Guilherme is on the ground and there are three more hitting him. Then I go back again, again take the knife and hit one. This was already another group, it was not the group of teenagers. It was a group that arrived later,” he stressed.
Benzo said that the man who owned the stolen bike then arrived at the scene by car, which is when he made his escape.
“He arrived by car, I didn't know whose car it was or anything. I said: “Man, my friend is bad, help him”. I said: 'Help him, I can't stay here'. That's when I went to my house. Then I took a totally different path, because my fear was that they would follow me.”
The 36-year-old spent over 500 days in custody at Cloverfield Prison before being found not guilty of murdering Josh Dunne on the evening of January 26, 2021.
He said that he was extremely “scared” during his time in the west Dublin prison, but his biggest fear was how long he would have to stay in the Irish penitentiary system rather than being attacked by other inmates.
“Imagine getting out and the kids are all grown up, man. And the shame? I have a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. And shame on my family. My family never had any problems.
“I arrived there [in prison] like a monster, right?... It was more the vision that they had, which was what the newspaper conveyed. The newspaper passed that I was a crazy, psychopath... One officer came to another and said: ‘Be smart because there are two Poles who are talking about going to catch him.’”
He has since returned to his home country of Brazil to “see my family, get my head together, absorb it all, because I'm still assimilating the miracle that was”.
“It's something that bothers me to know that I'm going to carry this for the rest of my life, you know? A life was taken by my hand,” he said prior to leaving Ireland.
“People say today: 'SAre you afraid to walk here on the street, of someone attacking you?'. I say: 'No, my fear is that someone will stop me and say: 'You are a murderer'.
“If someone attacks me, I will try to defend myself because I value my life. Now, if someone says: 'You are a murderer', I won't be able to answer. Like it or not, someone died. Even if it was not my intention, someone died”.