Wednesday 13 December 2017

Italian man charged with murder of Tom O’Gorman remanded in custody

Saverio Bellante
Saverio Bellante
Tom O'Gorman

Andrew Phelan

THE Italian man charged with the murder of researcher Tom O'Gorman has been further remanded in custody after a court heard gardai have yet to send a file to the DPP.

THE Italian man charged with the murder of researcher Tom O'Gorman has been further remanded  in custody after a court heard gardai have yet to send a file to the DPP.

Saverio Bellante (34) had the case against him adjourned in his absence at Cloverhill District Court today, after a judge was told he was at the Central Mental Hospital.

Judge Victor Blake remanded him in custody for another two weeks.

Bellante was arrested following the violent death of Mr O'Gorman who’s mutilated 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 for the second time today since his arrest at Mr O'Gorman's home last Sunday.

He had been brought before Blanchardstown District Court on Monday, where Judge David McHugh heard he had replied to the charge after caution: "I am guilty".

At the time, he had told the court he did not want a lawyer and wished to legally represent himself.

Today State Solicitor Rachel Joyce told Judge Blake the defendant was at the Central Mental Hospital and would not be produced. A psychiatrist’s letter was handed into court.

She applied for a two-week remand in custody. The court heard there was a large amount of psychiatric reports to be obtained.

Ms Joyce asked for the longest remand possible - two weeks - saying she did not think there was any reality to the gardai having a full investigation file ready before that.

Solicitor Michael Staines said he was now representing the accused and consented to the remand. He made an application for a copy of the video of Bellante's interview by gardai to be furnished to the defence.

He also applied for free legal aid and for certification for an Italian interpreter.  Mr Staines then said there had been a large amount of publicity in the case and asked the judge to "warn the media to be very careful about what they write".

He said the subjudice rule had already been broken and his office had written to the DPP about this.

Judge Blake "endorsed" what Mr Staines said about this. He granted an order for disclosure of prosecution material to the defence, to be made by January 29. He deferred the issue of legal aid,saying he wanted to see a statement of the accused's fianacial means first.

Judge Blake remanded the accused in custody to January 31.

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.

Irish Independent

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