Monday 11 December 2017

Italian man killed Dublin landlord and ate his body organ in chess row

Saverio Bellante (36) denies murdering Thomas O’Gorman
Saverio Bellante (36) denies murdering Thomas O’Gorman

Alison O'Riordan

An Italian man admitted killing his landlord after a row over chess, and told gardaí that he ate what he believed to be a part of the deceased's heart.

Saverio Bellante (36) with an address at Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin 15, denies murdering Thomas O'Gorman between January 11, 2014, and January 12, 2014.

The jury heard defence counsel Sean Guerin SC make a number of admissions on behalf of his client.

The trial, before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan, heard that Mr O'Gorman was killed sometime in the early hours of January 12, 2014 and Mr Bellante rang the gardaí.

Mr O'Gorman was just shy of his 40th birthday. He was a freelance journalist and worked part-time at The Iona Institute.

Prosecution counsel Patrick Gageby SC said Mr Bellante was previously diagnosed with a mental disorder and diagnosed with having religious hysterical deliria. He was treated by a psychiatrist in Italy.

On the evening of January 11, 2014 both men were playing a game of chess. A 999 phonecall was made by Mr Bellante at 1.50am, saying he killed Mr O'Gorman with a dumbbell and a knife.

Mr Guerin then made nine admissions under Section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act to ease the burden of the prosecution - including that Saverio Bellante killed Thomas O'Gorman.

Garda Patrick Traynor told the court he found the deceased slumped across the carpet and his chest was open in the middle with a large hole.

The court heard Mr Bellante thought he took Mr O'Gorman's heart but it was in fact his lung.

"I [Mr Bellante] was thinking of eating his heart ... I left the smaller part and ate the bigger part, the smaller part wasn't for me," read Mr Gageby from a statement Mr Bellante gave to gardaí.

Two consultant psychiatrists told the jury Mr Bellante fulfils criteria for a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Mr Gageby told the trial that if an issue of insanity arises, the accused has to show he is insane. The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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