Tragic Valentina’s murder: father and step-mother receive long jail terms

A child murder case that horrified the nation for its callous brutality has seen perpetrators Sandro and Márcia Bernardo sent to jail for 25 years and 18 years and nine months respectively. 

The duo rose to national infamy last year after ‘pretending’ Sandro’s nine-year-old daughter Valentina Fonseca had mysteriously gone missing (click here)

She hadn’t: they had killed her. Indeed, the horrific treatment was meted out fairly openly in front of her step-brother and half-siblings (click here).

The murder trial began in February and has passed sentences today. 

Leiria magistrates found both defendants responsible for the identical crimes of aggravated murder. 

Sandro received 22 years for aggravated murder, 18 months for the crimes of desecrating a corpse, nine months for the ‘simulation of murder’ and three years for domestic violence.

Márcia Bernardo was condemned to 18 years and nine months for ‘aggravated murder by omission’ and for the ‘desecration of a corpse’.

The final ruling followed the general lines of Public Ministry accusations, and confirmed that Valentina had suffered “various aggressions, some of a sexual nature as much on the day she died as on days leading up to the homicide; from father against daughter”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com