A Portuguese man previously convicted of shooting and killing his wife in front of their five-year-old son, has been deported after being found guilty of threatening to "slice" a traffic warden with a knife.
The Royal Court today heard the alcohol-fuelled incident - which happened in Kensington Place on a quiet Sunday afternoon last July - was totally unprovoked.
Fifty-three-year-old Jose de Sousa, who has been living in the Island for the past 15 years, went up to the traffic warden after he spotted him issuing a ticket.
It wasn’t de Sousa’s car and he didn’t know the owner, but he said to the warden, “if that was my car I’d cut you.” He then pulled out a knife with a 10cm blade from one of the two blue plastic bags he was carrying, and held it 15cm from the warden’s stomach. He told the warden, “I’m a gardener, I know how to use a knife.”
There are a lot of Portuguese shops in the area and it seems de Sousa felt the traffic warden might be booking a fellow countryman, so he tried to stop him by appealing to him by saying “you’re Portuguese. I’m Portuguese.”
De Sousa also told the police he never intended hurting the warden, just to “frighten him” because “he didn’t like the job he did” and that there was “nothing personal.”
The warden, who was much younger and stronger than five foot five inch, 10 stone, de Sousa, easily disarmed him. Acting swiftly the warden closed the knife, activated his body-worn video camera, called the police and restrained de Sousa, pinning him down over the bonnet of a car for six minutes until the police arrived and arrested him.
The court was told de Sousa has an alcohol problem, drinks every day and if he stops he starts shaking. On the day of the incident de Sousa says he’d probably had two or three glasses of wine and that a friend had possibly given him a bottle to take home. He claimed to be “tipsy” but not drunk, although he couldn’t remember the incident.
Sentencing, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, told de Sousa traffic wardens, like police officers and prisoner officers, are “entitled to be protected by the courts” and the court should send out a strong message.
He acknowledged the warden was not injured, but that de Sousa had used a knife, that the incident was unprovoked, and had happened in broad daylight and imposed a 12-month prison sentence for grave and criminal assault.
Because of de Sousa’s previous record the prosecution also asked the court to deport him.
Back in 1993 de Sousa was found guilty of killing his wife. He’d discovered she’d been having an affair, and whilst they were back in Madeira he confronted her. He was drunk at the time and accidentally pulled the trigger of the rifle he was pointing at her, shooting her in front of their five-year-old son. He was given a 14-year sentence, later reduced to nine. Another year was later taken off when the Pope visited Madeira and interceded on behalf of a number of prisoners.
Since coming to Jersey de Sousa has also been convicted of drink driving.
In making their decision the court decided de Sousa was a threat to the public and it was highly likely he would re-offended. They also noted that although he had some family in Jersey, a deportation order wouldn’t breach his human rights, and according they agreed he should be deported.
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