Sunday 8 December 2019

Sicilian charged with murder of Tom O'Gorman misses another court appearance through illness

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

Tom Tuite

An Italian man accused of the murder of well-known religious affairs writer Tom O'Gorman was again too sick to face another court hearing yesterday (THUR).

Saverio Bellante, 34, who had been Mr O'Gorman's lodger, been due to appear at Cloverhill District Court but was too unwell to attend, his solicitor Anarine McAllister explained to Judge Michael Coghlan.

Mr Bellante, who has been in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH), had originally been remanded in custody on January 13 last with an order that he was to be given medical treatment. He had been unable to attend four subsequent hearings because he was in the CMH.

And yesterday (THUR) Judge Coghlan adjourned the case for two weeks for the accused man to be served with a book of evidence. The prosecution told the court yesterday (THUR) that it was a "very complex file" and they were awaiting further reports.

The body of 39-year-old Tom O'Gorman, an Iona Institute researcher, from Beech Park Avenue, in the north Dublin suburb of Castleknock, was found after gardai were called to his home at about 1.50am on Sunday, January 12 last.

Mr O'Gorman, who was a well known pro-life campaigner, was pronounced dead at the scene and a post mortem was later carried out.

His lodger Saverio Bellante, a customer service agent, was later arrested; he had replied “I am guilty” after he was charged, Detective Garda Patrick Traynor had said at the accused's first hearing at Blanchardstown District Court on January 13 last.

The 34-year-old, who is from Palermo in Sicily, is accused of murdering Mr O'Gorman, at Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock between January 11 and 12 last.

On March 26, an inquest into Mr O'Gorman's death was opened but it has been adjourned by Coroner Dr Brian Farrell pending the outcome of criminal proceedings. The Dublin Coroner's Court had then heard that the deceased was identified through DNA matches with samples from his brother and sister.

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy has told the inquest that the preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and a stab wound to the neck and chest.

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