Condemned to 12 years for leaving girlfriend to burn to death… seven years ago

The snail’s pace of Portuguese justice logged up another miserable example this week after judges in Coimbra convicted a man who left his girlfriend to burn to death in a wrecked car seven years ago.

The lawyer representing Carlos Bruno, 32, said he had not been expecting such a stiff sentence and would be appealing.

The family who lost their 22-year-old daughter still feel her killer is getting off too lightly. But the lawyer who led the case considers “justice has been done”.

No one appears to be complaining that it took eight years, as cases like these can drag on interminably.

The story harks back to 2008 when Carlos Bruno, then 24, drove his car on purpose into a tree in Cantanhede and then set fire to it.

Inside was 22-year-old Patrícia Tinoco. From the stories in the national press, it is unknown whether she was conscious or not. Simply that she died after Bruno torched the wreck and went home.

The young man did not try and save her, reports national tabloid Correio da Manhã, nor did he call for help.

CM adds that in 2011 the young man was convicted of threatening to kill one of his dead girlfriend’s relatives.

While awaiting his appeal, Bruno is free on the stipulation that he reports weekly to his local police station.

Coimbra court also ruled that he should pay the family of his victim €125,000.

Again, terms of appeal mean Bruno is unlikely to start paying any indemnity any time soon.

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