Brutal killer of murdered female lawyer gets 23 years

“She wanted to ruin my life but I killed her.” These were the words of 55-year-old Francisco Borda d’Água after he battered lawyer Natália de Sousa’s head repeatedly against a mosaic floor in her office in Estremoz last year. Sentencing him to 23 years for the brutal killing on Monday, Judge Rita Coucelo said she hoped the defendant would “reflect” on the gravity of his actions and show some remorse “something which sadly he has not done throughout the trial”.

However, reports in the national press suggest Borda d’Água will be appealing, on the grounds that this was a crime of aggravated offences to his physical integrity.

As one newspaper pointed out, medicolegal experts have concluded that he has an “egocentric personality” that does not look at consequences.

Thus, killing the lawyer was “the way of sorting out the problem he had over paying a food allowance” for his estranged wife.

The story which shocked the nation last May involved Borda d’Água ambushing Natalia de Sousa in her office, in a rage of fury over the work the lawyer was doing to support his wife.

It was a “very serious crime”, added the judge. “There are murders and murders. This is especially serious because it concerns a lawyer” and because Borda d’Água murdered her “with his bare hands”.

Judge Coucelo ordered Borda d’Água to pay de Sousa’s family €183,000 in damages.

The murdered lawyer’s husband and daughter were present during sentencing, and are understood to have left the courtroom in tears, without wishing to make any kind of statements.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]