Hugo Ernano, the GNR agent whose life was turned upside down after he unwittingly shot a child hiding in the back of a getaway car, has at last returned to work – the €55,000 indemnity he was ordered to pay the child’s parents raised by a campaign orchestrated by well-wishers. “It is the best Christmas present I could receive”, he told reporters before turning up for duty in Odivelas (Pontinha).
Ernano has been ‘suspended’ from service on a third of his regular police salary for the last eight months, after appealing the initial prison sentence he received for nine years.
The Supreme Court much later reduced this to a four year suspended jail term (click here), but as popular tabloid Correio da Manhã has always maintained, this is a situation where justice has not simply been blind, it has been “inept and unjust” as well.
Nonetheless, Ernano is finally through the worst, he says, and is now simply looking forwards to a new start.
“I had the support of a lot of people”, he said of his stalwart supporters throughout the eight-year ordeal. I have paid the compensation. Things can only get better”.