O’Gorman family to get transcript of murder trial due to HSE worries

Concern raised about medical care received by the not guilty but insane Saverio Bellante

Saverio Bellante had been Tom O’Gorman’s lodger at the time of the killing in January, 2014.

Saverio Bellante had been Tom O’Gorman’s lodger at the time of the killing in January, 2014.

 

The family of a man, whose killer ate parts of his body, has been granted the transcript from the murder trial due to a concern about the care the killer had previously received from the HSE.

A Central Criminal Court jury found Saverio Bellante not guilty by reason of insanity of murdering Tom O’Gorman (39) at the house they shared in Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin.

Mr Bellante (38), who is originally from Palermo, Sicily, had been Mr O’Gorman’s lodger at the time of the killing in January, 2014.

The special verdict was delivered in July 2015 and Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan ruled that the defendant should be detained indefinitely at the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin.

Ciarán Craven SC applied to the court for a copy of the trial transcript or Dar (digital audio recording) on behalf of Mr O’Gorman’s family on Monday.

Ms Justice Heneghan is now retired and the application came before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, who said there did not seem to be a precedent for it.

Mr Craven explained that the family became concerned during the trial that “the death may have been brought about by the manner in which the accused was treated by the HSE” and a named doctor.

“They then applied for the inquest to be reopened,” he said.

It was agreed with the Dublin coroner that a number of documents would be of use, namely the book of evidence, the trial transcript and the accused man’s medical records.

Restrictions

The coroner applied to Ms Justice Heneghan for the transcript. It was released to her subject to restrictions; she was to use it for her purpose alone and was not allowed to disclose it to other parties.

“The understanding of the applicants is that what appears on the dar does not appear to be fully consistent with what the records disclose,” said Mr Craven, explaining that this was by reference to the coroner’s summary.

“We say the restrictions attached to the release of the Dar disadvantage the applicant,” he said, adding that neither the DPP nor Mr Bellante’s legal team were objecting to his application.

“The family has concerns in relation to the management of his (Mr Bellante’s) mental health,” he said, outlining the State’s obligations concerning the protection of life.

“It’s submitted by the family that the inquest is the only way in which these issues may be explored,” he added.

He said that the basis on which they were applying was that “the narrative history of the accused’s mental ill health is simply not accurate”.

The judge directed the provision of a transcript.