Friday 17 November 2017

Man charged with murder of Tom O’Gorman has ‘serious mental condition’, court told

Accused appeared before Dublin District Court today which heard he remains in Central Mental Hospital

Saverio Bellante. Inset: Tom O’Gorman
Saverio Bellante. Inset: Tom O’Gorman

Eimear Cotter

THE Italian man charged with the murder of researcher Tom O'Gorman is suffering from a "serious mental condition", a court has heard.

Saverio Bellante (34) did not appear in court today as he remains in the care of doctors at the Central Mental Hospital.

He had the case against him adjourned in his absence at Cloverhill District Court, after the court heard that gardai have yet to send a file to the DPP.

His lawyer Edward Doocey told the court that Bellante is suffering from a "serious mental condition".

Judge Victor Blake remanded Bellante in custody for four weeks.

He was arrested following the death of Mr O'Gorman whose body was found by gardai at his home at Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock.

Bellante, who is from Palermo in Sicily, but had been lodging with Mr O'Gorman, is accused of murdering him between January 11 and 12.

He had been due to appear in court today but a State solicitor told Judge Blake that the accused was still at the Central Mental Hospital and would not be produced.

Judge Blake said the court had received a psychiatrist’s letter from the Central Mental Hospital.

Gardai applied for a four week remand in custody, saying it was hoped that the DPP will have received the investigation file by then.

Defence barrister Edward Doocey applied for legal aid, saying Bellante is suffering a serious mental condition and is in the care of the Central Mental Hospital.

Mr Doocey also said Bellante is suffering a mental illness and a statement of means was not available at this point given the accused man's mental condition.

Judge Blake said he had requested a statement of the accused man's means and the question of legal aid was deferred to the next date.

Judge Blake remanded the accused in custody to February 27.

Mr Doocey further reminded the media to be careful in their reporting of the case.

Mr O'Gorman had worked as a researcher with catholic advocacy group the Iona institute, was a former journalist and was a Minister of the Eucharist.

The property where he was killed was Mr O’Gorman’s childhood family home. He had continued to live there since the death of his mother Ann in 2012.

His father Tom, who had worked as a vet, is also deceased.

His brother Paul lives in Donegal and his sister Catherine lives in London.

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