Judge refuses to strike out murder charge against Italian man

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.

Judge refuses to strike out murder charge against Italian man

Saverio Bellante, aged 34, who had been Mr O’Gorman’s lodger, had been due to appear at Cloverhill District Court but he remains an in-patient at the Central Mental Hospital, Judge Victor Blake heard yesterday.

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

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

Detective Garda Patrick Traynor told the judge 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.”

Anarine McAllister, defending, 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 8 for directions from the DPP to be obtained.

Mr Bellante had originally been remanded in custody on January 13 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 Mr O’Gorman, aged 39, from Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin, was found after gardaí were called to his home at about 1.50am on January 12. Mr O’Gorman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Bellante, aged 34, from Palermo, Sicily, a customer service agent, was later arrested.

He had replied “I am guilty” after he was charged, Det Garda Traynor had said at the accused’s first hearing at Blanchardstown District Court on January 13.

On March 26, an inquest into Mr O’Gorman’s death was opened but it has been adjourned by Coroner Brian Farrell pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy told the inquest 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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