A 19 year old man from Chester has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for what a judge has said was a homophobic attack.
Chester Crown Court heard that Floyd Evans stabbed office cleaner 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.
At Chester Crown Court today (Tuesday 20 May), Recorder of Chester HHJ Elgan Edwards, said he was satisfied that Floyd Evans did what he did on 21 October last year because he thought Mr Nascimento was gay.
He said Evans knew that area of the Chester city walls was a well-known meeting point for gay men.
He was satisfied that this crime was a homophobic assault and increased the sentence given to Evans because of this.
On 21 October 2013, Mr Nascimento, who’s 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.
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.
The emergency services were called and a police officer, PC Campbell, kept pressure on the wound until the paramedics arrived.
The judge in the case has given PC Campbell a Crown Court commendation for his actions on the night.
Mr Nascimento was then taken to a specialist trauma centre at Royal Liverpool University Hospital where he was operated on immediately.
Evans was caught on CCTV before and after the attack and forensic experts helped identify him as the man responsible.
Richard Riley, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said,
“We have always believed 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 the Crown Prosecution Service is determined to bring those responsible 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, a passing police officer, the paramedics and the staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital that he is still alive today.
“We welcome the sentence handed out to Floyd Evans today. He now has several years in prison ahead of him to reflect on the violence and recklessness of his actions on that night.”