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Prosecutor's Office calls for conviction of the Portuguese 'Bonnie & Clyde'

PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE CALLS FOR CONVICTION OF THE PORTUGUESE 'BONNIE & CLYDE'The Public Prosecutor's Office have called for the conviction of Nélida Alves and Sidney Pereira, the couple suspected of violent robberies at fuel stations in Portugal and Spain, committed in the summer of 2022.

See previous related articles:

16th Aug 2022: https://algarvedailynews.com/news/20851-portuguese-bonnie-clyde-arrested-at-macdonald-s
31st Aug 2022: 
https://algarvedailynews.com/news/20891-sidney-martins-half-of-the-portuguese-bonnie-clyde-is-extradited-home

Nélida Alves and Sidney Pereira, aged 42 and 44, are accused of having committed four crimes of aggravated robbery, three crimes of kidnapping, one crime of aggravated coercion, one crime of simple damage and two crimes of forgery of documents, in the summer of 2022.

The defendants, dubbed by the Portuguese press as 'Bonnie&Clyde', robbed several service stations in the Algarve, threatening employees with a knife and a pistol, and kidnapped three of them.

In the final arguments of the trial, which ended on June 4th 2024, in the Court of Faro, the Public Prosecutor's Office asked for their conviction, taking into account their criminal record, arguing that the facts must be taken as proven, not only by the testimonies, which were “credible” and “convergent”, such as the fact that the defendants admitted to the crimes, “with the exception of some details”.

Nélida's defense lawyer invoked the fact that the defendant admitted the facts only to mitigate the sentence that may be applied, highlighting that, at the time of the crimes, the woman was 'psychologically affected', due to her 'removal' from the son she has with Sidney.

Sidney's lawyer alluded that the defendants were like Bonnie & Clyde, despite the crimes they had committed, they caused people a “mix of sympathy and understanding”, considering “the confession and the repentance” relevant to mitigate their sentence.

During the last session of the trial, testimonies from GNR officers and inspectors from the Judiciary Police were heard in court about the siege that was set up to try to detain the suspects, on the night of July 27th, 2022, on a road near Bensafrim, in Lagos. 

According to witnesses, the suspects were located in Carrapateira, in Aljezur, and were then followed by vehicles from both forces, until Sidney, who was driving the car, decided to voluntarily stop on the side of the road, allowing the police to approach.

According to the testimonies, despite the police vehicles being unmarked, the officers wore reflective vests and activated the sirens, which is why it was “unequivocal” that it was a police approach.

However, Sidney did not obey the orders to stop, he reversed to gain space, almost running over the police agents, who had to dodge the vehicle in a “matter of seconds”, and he then continued forward, hitting the back of a GNR car and escaping the authorities.

After this attempted arrest, the couple went to a fuel station in Lagos, where they carried out another robbery - the first had occurred on the night of July 25th at a gas station in Estoi. 

This time, they kidnapped the fuel station employee, taking him to his own car, and Sidney driving away with Nélida and the victim in the back seat.

On the night of August 1st, the couple carried out another robbery at a gas station in Almancil, travelling in a car with Spanish registration plates.

After the robberies in the Algarve, the couple then crossed the border to Spain, in Ayamonte, where they continued violent robberies at service stations in Seville, Badajoz and Toledo, always using the same 'modus operandi' of intimidating employees with a gun.

Sidney and Nélida were arrested in Zamora, on August 13th, 2022, following a complaint from a citizen who, upon recognizing the suspects in a shopping center, alerted the Guardia Civil.

At that time, the suspects were travelling in a car that they had stolen in Madrid and were arrested while having dinner inside the vehicle, having been surrounded by National Police agents, who detained them without any resistance.

The reading of the final ruling is scheduled for July 5th at 2:00 pm, at the Court of Faro.

Source Lusa - Photo Guardia Civil

 

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