The George Bento trial - How the Brazilian Deliveroo cyclist walked free

Murder accused maintains he was acting in self-defence

On Tuesday, George Gonzaga Bento was cleared of all charges after spending more than sixteen months in custody accused of murdering 16-year-old Josh Dunne.

The Brazilian Deliveroo rider was acquitted of murdering Dunne in January 2021 after the jury accepted Mr Bento had acted in self-defence when he was attacked by a gang.

During the trial, the 36-year-old said the whole incident was a “mistake” which he would “regret for the rest of his life”.

But, what was it about Bento’s testimony that convinced the jury to reach their unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict?

What did they hear about the working conditions of Deliveroo drivers that convinced them this young Brazilian had been forced to defend himself with a knife on the night of January 26th 2021?

How did the Dunne family feel about the outcome? And given that an acquittal on a murder charge on the basis of self-defence is so rare, what could this result mean for future trials in this area?

Court reporters Alison O’Riordan and Eoin Reynolds, who covered the trial for The Irish Times, join today’s In the News episode to reflect on the events of January 2021, the six-week trial that followed and how George Bento convinced the jury to let him walk free.

In The News is presented by Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope and produced by Declan Conlan, Suzanne Brennan and Jennifer Ryan.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast

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