Lisbon’s “doughnut killer” will not be tried for murder

A former army sergeant who gunned down a Lisbon café owner in May will not be tried for his murder. João Gonçalves has instead been remanded to a “specialised clinical establishment” for three years. Gonçalves told police after his arrest that he had plotted his revenge against grandfather-to-be Manuel João Martins after the latter sold him a “poisoned doughnut” that had caused him perpetual “clicking in the brain”.

What had in fact happened, explains Correio da Manhã today, is that Gonçalves had suffered a stroke, and mistakenly blamed it on the crème-filled doughnut.

His rage over his interpretation of the incident caused him to amass an arsenal of weapons, which he made use of months later to walk into the Lua da Mel café, in Benfica, and shoot the owner in front of around a dozen witnesses.

After the killing, a source from the PSP police told newspapers there is still no law in Portugal that allows them to remove firearms from military personnel known to have psychiatric disorders.

Diário de Notícias explained that the PSP has tried to get its military statute on this point changed to no avail.

Tragically, Gonçalves was already signalled as being violent, and had a previous conviction for assault that saw him handed a four-year suspended sentence.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com