An evil father who stabbed his wife to death in a frenzied knife attack in a garage has been ordered to pay their sons nearly $300,000 in damages.
Fernando Paulino murdered his ex-wife Teresa Mancuso, 46, by stabbing her at least 16 times at her elderly parents’ Reservoir home in Melbourne‘s north in July 2013.
Her sons Daniel and Luke, 27 and 30, were on Thursday awarded a combined $280,000 after suing 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.
Teresa Mancuso (centre) was fatally stabbed by her ex-husband, Fernando Paulino – the father of Daniel and Luke. The pair have been awarded nearly $300,000 in damages against their father following the brutal attack in 2013
Daniel and Luke have become known as the YiaYia Next Door brothers after they formed a special bond with their Greek next-door neighbour Nina – who would give them meals over the fence following their mother’s death.
Paulino is serving a 30-year jail sentence after being convicted of murder – but is seeking for an appeal against the ruling in the High Court.
An inmate who was housed in the same wing as Paulino told Daily Mail Australia in 2018 he wanted his children to know their father was a ‘gutless coward’ who plans to ‘kill himself’ if he is not released and forced to rot in jail.
Paulino killed out of jealousy, hatred and a determination to punish Ms Mancuso for moving on with life without him.
On December 20, 2017, Paulino (pictured) was sentenced to spend at least 25-years in jail for Ms Mancuso’s murder
A loving mother: Teresa Mancuso and a young Daniel. Ms Mancuso, 46, was stabbed by her ex-husband at least 16 times in the garage of her elderly parents’ Reservoir home
‘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.
Happier times: Ms Mancuso enjoys a special moment with her young sons during their childhood
Teresa Mancuso clowns about with her son Daniel (left). She was killed by her ex-husband out of jealousy and to punish her for moving on with life without him
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 Ms Mancuso’s family and friends as well, for the rest of their lives.’
The bond between the brothers and their ‘Yiayia’ was forged after the murder.
No one had lived in the property for years until the brothers decided to move into the house to honour their mum.
Pictured are Daniel (left) and Luke Mancuso (right). They have formed a close bond with their neighbour Nina – a relationship popularised by an Instagram account they manage – who gives them cooked meals across the fence
The garage has since been turned into a games room filled with their childhood toys.
Nina has since cooked meals for the brothers, including traditional Greek food, homemade bread, chicken and their favourite spinach pie, Spanakopita.
Last year, the grandmother and her husband Petros discovered they would fly home to visit her family in Greece after Daniel and Luke surprised her with a travel voucher.
‘To see my sister and my brother. That’s a big, big deal for me,’ Nina told the men, who she refers to as ‘my grandkids’.
Nina’s sister had suffered a stroke and Flight Centre donated a $4,000 travel voucher for the grandmother to be reunited with her and her brother.
Daniel and Luke surprised Nina with the voucher and celebrated by popping open a bottle of champagne.
Daniel and Luke last year surprised their neighbour with a travel voucher so she could visit her family and celebrated by popping open a bottle of champagne