Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Thursday, 13 July 2006 17:03 UK

Profile: Jean Charles de Menezes

Jean Charles de Menezes
Jean Charles de Menezes arrived in the UK in March 2002
Electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, who was fatally shot by police at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July 2005, arrived in the UK from Brazil in 2002.

He joined the estimated 60,000 to 100,000 Brazilians - including some relatives - in London and quickly learnt to speak English.

Mr Menezes, the son of bricklayer Matosinhos Otoni da Silva, was born in the town of Gonzaga in the state of Minas Gerais - a source of many migrants to Europe and the USA.

He spent his childhood living in an adobe hut in the town.

Mr Silva told BBC News his son had always wanted to be an electrician - as a child, he would make electrical toys with batteries, copper and matchboxes.

Mr Menezes moved to Sao Paulo to live with his uncle at the age of 14, attended high school and became a qualified electrician.

'Good money'

His father said Mr Menezes had always had a desire to move abroad to earn money.

"When he was a child he said: 'Father, I heard on the radio people make good money in England, the United States, France. If I have money to go, I will go. I will take advantage of my age and my energy to help you out.'"

He wanted to stay for another two years to save money so he could come back and invest in a ranch
Matosinhos Otoni da Silva
Jean Charles de Menezes' father

About half of the young people from Gonzaga move abroad in the hope of securing a better future.

The Home Office said Mr Menezes had been granted entry to the UK for six months as a visitor on his arrival on 13 March 2002.

He then applied for leave to remain as a student, which was approved. He was granted leave to remain until 30 June 2003.

The Home Office says his visa expired at that time and that he remained illegally in the UK until his death.

Like many Brazilians in London, Mr Menezes would send money home, to his parent's modest farm in Gonzaga.

"He didn't make a lot of money," his father said. "Most of his money went on rent and food.

"He wanted to stay for another two years to save money so he could come back and invest in a ranch."

He said his son was happy in London.

Map showing Gonzaga, Brazil

Friends say Mr Menezes was as shocked as all Londoners by the 7 July tube and bus bombings, as well as the attempted London public transport attacks on Thursday 21 July - the day before he was shot.

Gésio César D'avila, a friend and colleague, said Mr Menezes had considered alternative transport after the failed attacks.

"We were together on Thursday, and when we saw what happened, Jean said he wanted to buy a motorbike to avoid the Tube," he said.

On 22 July, the day Mr Menezes was killed, police and soldiers had been watching the block of flats in south London's Tulse Hill where the electrician lived.

They believed Hussain Osman, one of the failed 21 July bombers, was living there inside. What they did not realise at first was that the flats shared a communal entrance. So when Jean Charles de Menezes emerged, nobody was sure whether or not he was the target.

It is thought Mr Menezes left his flat, which he shared with cousins Vivian and Patricia, in order to fit a fire alarm.


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