Teenager guilty of suspected homophobic assault

11/04/2014

An 19 year old man from Chester has been convicted of a serious assault on an office cleaner in what's thought to have been a homophobic attack.

Chester Crown Court heard that Floyd Evans stabbed Francisco Nascimento at a spot on Chester city walls which is known to be a meeting place for the gay community.

It was only the swift action of the emergency services and staff at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital that saved his life.

On  21 October last year, Mr  Nascimento, whos originally from Brazil but has lived in Chester for several years, finished his work as a cleaner and went to the Northgate Arena for a swim.

He then went on to a nearby shop to buy some food, before setting off for home via the City Walls.

John Philpotts,  prosecuting, said: "He did that because he knew that there was a possibility that he might meet someone he knew for a chat before he went home.

"What he did not know was that before the night was out he would be fighting for his life, having been stabbed to the heart."

Mr Nascimento, who was 35 at the time of the attack, met a friend, Gareth Davies, on the walls and they were chatting when they noticed  Evans coming towards them.

Evans started talking to Mr Davies but then suddenly lunged forward and stabbed Mr Nascimento. He then simply walked away.

Mr Nascimento realised he was bleeding from his chest and Mr Davies shouted to a group of young people who'd gathered on a field opposite and the emergency services were called.

A police officer kept pressure on the wound until the paramedics arrived and Mr Nascimento was then taken to a specialist trauma centre at Royal Liverpool University Hospital where he was operated on immediately.

Mr Philpotts said: "This was an emergency, life-saving procedure.

"If surgery had not been performed as quickly as it was, Mr Nascimento would have died of the wound he had suffered."

CCTV was shown to the jury of Evans walking around Chester City centre both before and after the attack.

This was examined by two forensic clothing and facial identification experts to prove it was Evans that was captured on the footage and they gave evidence to the court.

After the jury had returned a guilty verdict, Recorder of Chester HHJ Elgan Edwards, told the court that he would like to commend Gareth Davies, PC Campbell - the officer first at the scene - and the staff at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital for saving Mr Nascimento's life.

Richard Riley, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a vicious attack on a man who'd simply been chatting with a friend when he was targeted.

"We believe that Floyd Evans stabbed My Nascimento because he thought he was gay and that Evans went to that part of the city walls that night for that very reason.

"Evans is clearly a violent man, quite possibly harbouring sinister feelings towards certain sections of our community.

"This was what we describe as a hate crime and it will not be tolerated. I would like to thank Cheshire Police for helping us bring Floyd Evans to justice.

"Mr Nascimento had done nothing wrong on the night he was attacked and it is only because of the swift actions of his friend, the emergency services and the staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital that he is still alive today."