THE jury in the trial of a teenager accused of attempting to murder a gay man on the city walls will start its deliberations today.
Floyd Evans, 19, of Linenhall Mews, Stanley Street, Chester, is charged with attempted murder and wounding with intent against 35-year-old Brazilian man Francisco Nascimento on October 21 last year.
Police believe the attack, which left Mr Nascimento fighting for his life after he was stabbed in the heart, was homophobic as it took place near a well known meeting place for the gay community in Chester – at the top of the steps to the City Walls behind Iceland’s car park on Frodsham Street.
The prosecution and defence made their closing statements yesterday and the jury will retire to consider its verdict today.
John Phillpotts, prosecuting, said there were two main issues which the jury had to decide on when they were considered the verdict for attempted murder. He said: “Firstly, was it Evans who stabbed Mr Nascimento and if he did what was his intention.
“The prosecution say it was Evans who stabbed Mr Nascimento because CCTV footage of a man going to and from the scene show a man with similar build and clothing as Evans had on earlier that evening.
“Mr Nascimento himself picked Evans out of a police line up and was clear when giving evidence saying ‘he stabbed me’. He was firm when he said this during cross examination and the prosecution believe him to be a reliable witness.
“The second issue is whether there was intent. The prosecution would submit that the blow, which witness Gareth Davies said was deliberately to the chest, was without warning, without preamble or provocation. The prosecution say he went there with an intent to stab a gay man.
“If you stab a man to the heart area what else do you intend but to kill.”
Peter Moss, defending, said Evans was not homophobic as his brother, who he used to live with, is gaym and he questioned whether Evans could be identified on CCTV.
He said: “It is Evans’ case he can’t remember the time from going into Tesco and waking up the next morning.
“He had been drinking for a number of hours and taken cocaine and the first time he was asked about that evening by police was three weeks later.
“How many people can remember what they were doing three weeks ago on a Monday night?
“Mr Nascimento was an unrelaible indentification witness. He had already picked out the wrong man from an identification parade. The two witnesses, Gareth Davies who was at the scene and Bethan Jones who was nearby, both picked out different men at the parade.
“You can’t rule out the possibility there is someone else between the cameras then you can’t be sure it was the man on the CCTV.”
The court had previously heard that Mr Nascimento, who moved from Brazil to Chester nine years ago, had gone shopping in Tesco on Frodsham Street before he bumped into a friend, Gareth Davies, on the city walls.
The pair had been talking for about 40 minutes before a young male went down the steps where he stopped briefly before turning around and coming back up the steps.
The court heard that this was a signal used by gay men at the spot. After a short conversation with Mr Davies the man struck Mr Nascimento to the chest before fleeing the scene in the direction of King Charles Tower.
Mr Nascimento was rushed to hospital in Liverpool where he was given life saving surgery in the A&E department and has since been released from hospital.
See full story in the Chester Leader