Italian man who killed landlord and ate part of heart requires ongoing medical supervision, court told
An Italian man who killed his landlord in Dublin and claimed he had eaten part of his heart, only developed an insight into the seriousness of his actions a number of months later.
Saverio Bellante, aged 36, with an address at Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock, was charged with murdering Thomas O’Gorman at an unknown time between January 11-12, 2014, at that address.
Last month at the Central Criminal Court Mr Bellante pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr O’Gorman. The jury brought in a verdict of not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.
Tom O’Gorman’s killer, Saverio Bellante, still suffers from mental
illness, a consultant psychiatrist told the court.
After hearing from registered medical practitioner and consultant psychiatrist Damian Mohan, Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan yesterday made an order committing Mr Bellante back to the Central Medical Hospital in Dundrum.
Dr Mohan told the court he has had weekly contact with Mr Bellante for most of last year and all of this year, where he has undergone extensive psychiatric assessment.
The doctor said Mr Bellante moved from the acute phase of his illness to the rehabilitation phase in mid 2014.
“His condition was challenging at the outset and it proved difficult to treat with high levels of medication. He had a strong belief that the victim represented an evil force while he was a good force.
“It took several months of intensive treatment before there was any improvement in his condition,” said Dr Mohan.
The court heard the diagnosis of Mr Bellante was of “paranoid schizophrenia” and it was only during the latter end of 2014 and early 2015 that the Italian began to develop an insight into the seriousness and gravity of his actions. Since then he has continually expressed remorse.
Dr Mohan told the judge that Mr Bellante no longer believes he was compelled by external forces to kill Mr O’Gorman and he now knows it was as a result of a “delusional or false belief”.
“I am satisfied he still suffers from a mental illness and disorder which affects a person’s thinking and perceiving emotion and requires medical treatment in his own best interest,” said the doctor.
The house in Castleknock, Dublin, where Tom O’Gorman
While there has been a considerable improvement in his condition, it remains only partially treated.
The court heard due to the severity of his illness, failure to admit Mr Bellante to the Central Medical Hospital would lead to a serious deterioration in his condition and he requires ongoing supervision.
“I am satisfied it is appropriate to make an order committing Mr Bellante to a designated centre which is the Central Mental Hospital for inpatient care,” said the judge.
Last month the jury heard the Italian admitted killing his landlord last year.
By Alison O’Riordan
The sister of Tom O’Gorman told the court her brother was “the least violent man one could imagine”, but had ultimately faced “appalling violence”.
Catherine O’Gorman said that since the death of her brother, she and her other brother Paul have felt “absolute devastation”.
She said that while the 39- year-old was described during the trial as a victim of crime, this was not how she remembers him.
She said the greatest injustice, which no court of law can ever address, was the “unnecessary fact of Tom’s death”.
Ms O’Gorman said that for the benefit of the jury, they heard in great detail the acts of violence committed upon Tom, for his loved ones however, they can only think about whether he suffered, whether he was afraid, what he experienced. She said the last year-and-a-half has been “unimaginably painful”.
Ms O’Gorman said while the focus of the court had been to examine the actions and state of the mind of Saverio Bellante, for them the most enduring experience since January 12, 2014, could only ever be the “unending loss” of their brother.
“For us he was our big brother. He was funny. He was interested and excited by life. He was gentle, with an honesty that made him vulnerable.
“He was passionate about his faith and also deeply empathetic, intellectually curious, and always open to dialogue.”
She said her brother was also “unfailingly loyal” to his family and friends and had a “newfound optimism” before he died and spoke of ideas to continue his academic research by pursuing a PhD and possibly moving to America.
“This seemed purposeful and positive and further heightens the unspeakable tragedy that Tom will never live these plans, he will never have his own children nor fulfil his own future.”
She said it was important Tom was remembered for how he died but for how he lived.
She concluded by saying as a family they can only hope that the State will do everything in its power to ensure that such tragedy never happens again and “at the very least with regard to taking responsibility for the future actions” of Mr Bellante.
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