Brothers awarded $280k against killer dad

Fernando Paulino's sons have been awarded damages against him for their loss and trauma.
Fernando Paulino's sons have been awarded damages against him for their loss and trauma.

Two Melbourne brothers have been awarded nearly $300,000 in damages against their father who stabbed his ex-wife to death in Melbourne.

Fernando Paulino murdered 46-year-old Teresa Mancuso by stabbing her at least 16 times in the garage of her elderly parents' Reservoir home in July 2013.

Her sons, Daniel and Luke, were on Thursday awarded a combined $280,000 against their father in Victoria's Supreme Court.

"Fernando has shattered the bounds of trust that are inherent in a parent-child relationship, and this is further compounded by Fernando's apparent lack of remorse," Justice James Elliott said.

Daniel and Luke have become known as the YiaYia Next Door brothers.

The pair formed a special bond with their Greek next-door neighbour, known as YiaYia, when she started giving them meals over the fence following their mother's death.

Paulino is serving a 30-year jail sentence after being convicted of murder.

He killed out of jealously, hatred and a determination to punish Ms Mancuso for moving on with life without him.

"From that moment, Fernando has deprived his sons, Daniel and Luke, of a life with their mother, of the ability to share her 50th birthday with them, and of the chance for her to be there as they celebrate their respective milestones," Justice Elliott said.

With their father jailed, the young men took him to court. Each sought $350,000 for loss and suffering, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Justice Elliott said the figure was significantly more than compensation granted in similar cases. He ordered Daniel, now 30, receive $137,500 and 27-year-old Luke $142,500.

Ms Mancuso's brother, Patrick, sought $100,000 but received $42,500. He was angry and frustrated because he believed the murder could have been prevented.

Before she died, Ms Mancuso expressed fears Fernando would "kill her one day".

"It is clear that Teresa was a much loved person, and that she had close and loving relationships with Daniel, Luke and Patrick, and with the rest of her immediate and extended family, and friends," Justice Elliott said.

"No award of compensation will ever fill the deep sadness, hurt and trauma that will remain with not only Daniel, Luke and Patrick, but the rest of Teresa's family and friends as well, for the rest of their lives."

Australian Associated Press