Saturday 22 July 2017

Dad who killed his son in a fall from a Crete balcony too ill for inquest

Rod Minchin

A MAN who killed his six-year-old son when he pushed him off a hotel balcony in Crete five years ago was too ill to attend an inquest today.

John Hogan is receiving treatment under the Mental Heath Act at a psychiatric unit, a coroner was told.



The inquest is being held into the death of his son Liam, who suffered severe head injuries after falling from the Petra Mare Hotel in August 2006.



Liam's sister, Mia, then aged two, survived with a broken arm after they were pushed off the balcony by their father during a family holiday. John Hogan’s mother Josephine is from Castledermot, Co Kildare.



The inquest at Avon Coroner's Court in Flax Bourton, near Bristol, is being held after the original verdict recorded in 2008 - that Liam was unlawfully killed by his father - was overturned by the High Court.



Two judges ruled that the verdict by then Avon coroner Paul Forrest was flawed and needed "further consideration".



They indicated that a "really quite serious error of law" had occurred because the question of Hogan's mental state "was simply not addressed".



The Greek jury in Hogan's trial decided that the former tiler had been suffering from an "earthquake of insanity" during the trip to Crete.



Hogan, from Bradley Stoke, near Bristol, had gone on holiday with then wife Natasha Visser in a bid to salvage their marriage. The incident happened shortly before they were due to return home.



Mrs Visser, who has remarried and moved to Australia with her family, did not attend the new inquest.



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