“Mum will also miss being a grandmama,” Amanda Carter’s daughter Jamie, third from left, said in her victim impact statement. Photo: James Brickwood
A REAL estate agent whobludgeoned his ex-fiance to death while she was lying in her bed,leaving her almost unrecognisable,is set to appeal his murder conviction.
Ricardo Francis Herman Dasilva, 66,wasfound guilty by a jury in Juneof beating his former partnerAmanda Carterto death in her Central Coast home in May 2010.
At a sentencing hearing in theNSW Supreme Court on Thursdayit was revealed thatDasilva, who pleaded not guilty andclaimed he fell asleep watchingtelevision on the night of the murder, had lodged a notion of intention to appeal the verdict.
Victim impact statementswritten by two of Ms Carter’s children and her husband,who she had separated from five years before her death,were also read out during the hearing.
Ms Carter’s youngest child, Jamie Carter,said she was the one whodiscovered her mother’s body and had to call her soccer coach to explain why they would miss the game that morning.
The statement, which Jamie and her brother Shaun wrote together, described how Ms Carter was a caring and warm mother who loved playing soccer and had always wanted to be called “grandmama”.
Ricardo Francis Herman Dasilva.
“Mum will also miss being able to form a bond and watch her grandchildren grow and will miss being agrandmama,” the statement said.
Ms Carter’s husband and the father of herchildren,Howard Carter,said they had shared 35 years of friendship and he found being a parent difficult without her.
“Mandy and I were good friends we loved our children and together intended to support them for the restof our lives,” Mr Carter said.
“I am still suffering, the children are suffering…our lives changed forever on that day.”
Dasilva’sdefence barristerAlissaMoentold Justice Ian Harrison that indetermining whatsentence to impose he should accept it could notbe proven that herclient had held the intention to harm his estranged partner for a long time.
“[Your honour] would not be able to find beyond reasonable doubtthat whatever theintent was that accompanied the attack upon the deceased, whateverthestateofmind was,was in place in effect any longer than say 24 hours before the episode,” MsMoensaid.
MsMoenalsosaid Justice Harrison should takeinto account how older offenders are treated inprison and that it was likely anysentence imposed on her client would be “tantamount to a real life sentence” given his age.
The Crown’s case was thatDasilvabashed Ms Carter, who taught maths at Wyong High School,several times in the headwith an unknown weapon while she was lying in her bed, possibly asleep.
Anautopsyfound there was no obvious evidence of a struggle, and that Ms Carter was “covered neatly by a quilt and tucked along the sides of the body”.
Italsoappeared thatDasilvatried to burn the housedown after the attack, with police discovering afrypan half full of olive oil onthestovenext to a hot plate that was “radiating significant heat”.
The case against Dasilvawas circumstantial,with no murder weapon, no relevant DNA or eye witnesses to the murder.
But the four-and-a-halfweek trial heard of Ms Carter’s concerns aboutDasilva’sconduct after the relationship started to break down in 2009, including an email she sent to a friend saying “Richardseems to have gone past the non-accepting stage and is entering the angry stage.”
Ms Carter’s daughter Erin gave evidence thatDasilva”relentlessly” contacted her mother,accessedher social media accountsand on more than oneoccasionwas found in her houseuninvitedafter they broke up.
The jury also heardevidence Dasilvasent letters to a number of media outlets, falsely accusing Ms Carter of having an affair with a student.
No date has yet been set for the hearing ofDasilva’sappeal.
He is due to be sentenced on September 20.
– Sydney Morning Herald