Trial over murder of city man is halted in Algarve

21 May 2010
Belfast Telegraph
Clare Weir

THE trial of two men accused of murdering a Londonderry businessman in the Algarve has been dramatically halted after a key witness admitted lying over evidence. Paul Houston, who owned Houston Shoes on the Strand Road in Derry, was on a family holiday last September when he was attacked.

The 51-year-old father-of-four, was found dead at Alvor in Portugal. He had been enjoying a break in the Algarve with his wife Celine and friends, Phillip and Marian Devlin. Mr Houston had lived in Donegal and was president of Greencastle Golf Club.

On trial were Jones Dos Santos, (27), and Diago Dias (20), who claim they acted in self-defence during a fight and that Mr Houston was sitting upright when they left him.

Ebert Sergio, a friend of the men, now says Mr Dos Santos told him on the night of the incident: "Let's leave because I just killed someone." He also alleges Mr Dos Santos was sober and knew exactly what he was doing. The witness said he was now telling the truth because he felt guilty.

The trial has now been adjourned and will reconvene on June 7.

Earlier this month, Paul Houston's widow Celine flew into Portimao to attend the hearing along with other members of her family.

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