'Delusions' | 

Mentally ill man believed killing landlord and eating his heart would end evil in world, inquest hears

The inquest into the death of Tom O’Gorman, who died at his family home, heard evidence that his killer, Saverio Bellante, was suffering delusions at the time, believing he was God and on “a special mission against the forces of evil in the world”.
Saverio Bellante

Saverio Bellante

Tom O'Gorman

Tom O'Gorman

Paul O'Gorman at the Coroner's Court inquest into the death of his brother Tom O'Gorman. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Paul O'Gorman at the Coroner's Court inquest into the death of his brother Tom O'Gorman. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Maria Steen at the Coroner's Court inquest into the death of Tom O'Gorman. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Maria Steen at the Coroner's Court inquest into the death of Tom O'Gorman. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Journalist Tom O'Gorman who died in the early hours of January 12, 2014.

Journalist Tom O'Gorman who died in the early hours of January 12, 2014.

Saverio Bellante was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity

Saverio Bellante was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity

Paul o Gorman 
at the Coroners Court inquest into the death of Tom O Gorman on Store Street, Dublin.
Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Paul o Gorman at the Coroners Court inquest into the death of Tom O Gorman on Store Street, Dublin. Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Seán McCárthaighIndependent.ie

AN ITALIAN national who was diagnosed with schizophrenia believed killing his landlord and eating his victim’s heart would put an end to evil in the world, an inquest has heard.

The inquest into the death of Tom O’Gorman, who died at his family home, heard evidence that his killer, Saverio Bellante, was suffering delusions at the time, believing he was God and on “a special mission against the forces of evil in the world”.

Mr O’Gorman (39), a researcher with the Iona Institute, was killed by Mr Bellante at his home on Beechpark Avenue, Castleknock, in the early hours of January 12, 2014, after a row developed between the pair over a game of chess.

Mr Bellante (43), who was only identified as Mr B during the inquest, was found not guilty of Mr O’Gorman’s murder by reason of insanity by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin in July 2015.

The native of Sicily, who worked with a pharmaceutical company in Dublin, has been detained at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum since being committed there following his trial.

Forensic psychiatrist Stephen Monks told the inquest at Dublin Coroner’s Court that Mr Bellante’s condition led him to believe that Mr O’Gorman was “a fake” in the days before his death.

The inquest heard Mr Bellante had been receiving treatment for his schizophrenia in Ireland since arriving here in 2011. His anti-psychotic medication was being reduced over a period of 18 months and stopped on January 9, 2014 – just over 48 hours before Mr O’Gorman’s death.

Dr Monks said Mr Bellante’s delusional mood led him to sense some inexplicable change in his environment at the time where he felt there was “a battle between forces of good and evil”.

He said Mr Bellante became “profoundly paranoid” and would take serious meanings out of mundane events.

Journalist Tom O'Gorman who died in the early hours of January 12, 2014.

Journalist Tom O'Gorman who died in the early hours of January 12, 2014.

He said the lodger’s acute psychosis led him to believe Mr O’Gorman was trying to enslave him.

While Mr Bellante knew that killing someone was morally wrong, Dr Monks said he became convinced that Mr O’Gorman’s killing was right and entirely justified.

Asked by counsel for the O’Gorman family, Ciaran Craven SC, if he was aware that Mr Bellante had been hospitalised on three occasions in Italy because of psychotic episodes, Dr Monks said he only knew that the patient had been admitted twice “in close succession”. He acknowledged that previous patterns of a relapse could be an indicator of future reactions in a patient.

Former state pathologist Marie Cassidy, who carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr O’Gorman’s body, said he died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the neck and chest. The inquest heard DNA evidence was needed to formally identify the deceased.

She said most of Mr O’Gorman’s right lung had been removed , while there was also extensive damage to his liver.

The pathologist said Mr O’Gorman had suffered three stab wounds to the face and one stab wound to the neck which had pierced his carotid artery and jugular vein.

She said a series of blunt force injuries to the victim’s skull were consistent with him being struck with a dumbbell that was found near the scene.

“Any one of the blows could have rendered him unconscious almost immediately. Death would have been fairly swift,” Dr Cassidy said.

The inquest heard that a paramedic who arrived at the house found a garden shears covered in blood in the room Mr O’Gorman was found in.

The paramedic, Philip Kelly, also described finding body matter on a plate in the kitchen which he said looked like “a piece of liver”. Several pieces of body tissue were also found in a nearby rubbish bag.

Paul O'Gorman at the Coroner's Court inquest into the death of his brother Tom O'Gorman. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Paul O'Gorman at the Coroner's Court inquest into the death of his brother Tom O'Gorman. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

The inquest heard that Catherine O’Gorman acknowledged that her brother Tom had never raised any concerns about Mr Bellante.

Her brother, Paul O’Gorman, admitted he was unhappy about their brother taking a lodger into the family home but felt the company would be good for him.

A jury of four women and three men returned a narrative verdict in accordance with the evidence including the fact that Mr Bellante had discontinued his medicine shortly before Mr O’Gorman’s death.


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