Sunday 17 December 2017

Tom O'Gorman murder case 'an extremely complex investigation file' court told

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

Tom Tuite

A JUDGE has refused to strike out the case of an Italian man accused of the murder of well-known religious affairs writer Tom O'Gorman and has granted the DPP more time to complete the book of evidence.

Saverio Bellante, 34, who had been Mr O'Gorman's lodger, been due to appear at Cloverhill District Court but he remains an in-patient at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH), Judge Victor Blake heard earlier today.

A prosecution solicitor told Judge Blake that the DPP has not yet received the investigation file from gardai.

It was “an extremely complex investigation file” and likely to be received by the DPP's office next week, the state's solicitor said.

Det-Garda Patrick Traynor told the judge that said there were “165 investigative tasks inquiries” and medical reports were awaited. He confirmed that he believed the file will be in the DPP's office within the next week.

He also told the judge that “a lot of inquiries are being carried out”.

Defence Anarine McAllister said the book of evidence was “long overdue” and that in spite of correspondence from the defence to the DPP's office there had been no response.

She asked the judge to consider striking out the case or have it marked peremptory against the State for the next date. However, Judge Blake refused and further remanded Mr Bellante in custody in his absence until May 8th next for directions from the DPP to be obtained.

Mr Bellante 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 five subsequent hearings because he was in the CMH.

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, Det-GdaTraynor 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.

Irish Independent

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