Judge grants more time in O'Gorman murder case

Thursday 24 April 2014 18.24
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Saverio Bellante remains an in-patient at the Central Mental Hospital
Saverio Bellante remains an in-patient at the Central Mental Hospital
Tom O'Gorman's body was found at his home in Castleknock in January
Tom O'Gorman's body was found at his home in Castleknock in January

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.

Judge Victor Blake granted the Director of Public Prosecutions more time to complete the book of evidence.

Saverio Bellante, 34, had been due to appear at Cloverhill District Court but remains an in-patient at the Central Mental Hospital.

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

Mr O'Gorman's body was found after gardaí were called to his home in Castleknock in Dublin at about 1.50am on 12 January.

The 39-year-old Iona Institute researcher was pronounced dead at the scene and a post mortem was later carried out.

His lodger Mr Bellante, from Palermo in Sicily, was later arrested.

The 34-year-old is accused of murdering Mr O'Gorman, at Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock between 11-12 January.

The State's solicitor said it was "an extremely complex investigation file" and likely to be received by the DPP's office next week.

Det Garda Patrick Traynor told the judge that "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 solicitor 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 8 May for directions from the DPP to be obtained.

Mr Bellante had originally been remanded in custody on 13 January 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.

On 26 March, an inquest into Mr O'Gorman's death was opened but was 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 had 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.