Bruno Carvalho, a 19-year old Portuguese that was sentenced to five years in prison in the UK for rape, affirms his innocence and accuses the British authorities of having committed an injustice, for lack of evidences.
by Rita Jordão, London
A Portuguese young man was sentenced last week to five years in prison in the United Kingdom, for rape, he accused the British authorities of carrying out an injustice. Bruno Carvalho, 19, was accused by Samantha Gardener of having forced sexual relations while she was in a weakened state because of alcohol consumption. It all happened in one night out among friends, the lack of witnesses at the time of the incident led to the arrest of the youngster.
The case dates back to April this year, when Bruno - resident in Norwich, West of England - went out at night accompanied by two friends, Ricardo and Diogo. The three met with Samantha Gardener, an acquaintance of the three young men. Hours later, the alleged violation took place in a tent near a beach in Great Yarmouth, where Richard had sex with the young English woman before Bruno entered the tent. At that time, the young Portuguese man has allegedly sexually abused the English woman. But the Portuguese ensures that the act that was initiated by the British woman was stopped by him, because, as he stated in court, "Samantha was in a poor condition".
According to the indictment, Samantha was in an "extremely vulnerable" state due to alcohol consumption and that fact was exploited by the Portuguese.
According Bruno's family, DNA tests conducted on the morning after the meeting resulted negative. The court ruling based itself on the word of the accusation against the defense, "without being based on any evidences", said the father, Jorge Conceição.
"At the trial there was no conclusive evidence presented against him. No bona fide witness, nor the two friends were called to give their statements in court", said Jorge Conceicao, claiming that Samantha lied on several occasions during the trial. "The judge held that the victim was traumatized and unable to leave her house. We have evidence that shows that she was in a bar where Bruno worked at the very night after the alleged violation."
Bruno Carvalho was the first convicted in the region as a result of the operation Gemini, which focuses on victims of sexual abuse and in a higher rate of convictions for perpetrators of sexual abuse - a plan to counter the low percentage of convictions in these cases.
in Jornal de Noticias
Stolen Life: Nico Bento Speaks up and the Failure of the Forensic Science Service