Crete balcony death father 'not insane'

 

A father was not mentally ill when he killed his six-year-old son by pushing him off a hotel balcony in Crete five years ago, an inquest heard today.

John Hogan, 37, was not insane or suffering from a "disease of the mind" when tragedy struck on the Greek island.

Dr Akuntundi Akinkummi, a consultant forensic psychologist, was critical of the two Greek psychologists who examined Mr Hogan in the weeks and months after Liam died.

"From my examination of the documentation made available to me, I am not satisfied and I do not believe that Mr Hogan could properly be described at the material time as suffering from a defect of reasoning arising from a disease of the mind," Dr Akinkummi said.

"Neither am I satisfied that he could properly be described as being unable to know the nature of the act he was doing.

"I am unable to express the view as to whether or not Mr Hogan appreciated the wrongfulness of his actions.

"On balance I would not be prepared to opine that Mr Hogan was mentally insane at the time."

Dr Akinkummi said his request to examine Mr Hogan had been rejected and instead he relied up the reports of the two Greek psychologists.

Dr Akinkummi, who works at the Cygnet Hospital in Stevenage, Herts, was giving evidence at an inquest into the death of Liam.

The little boy died from severe head injuries after falling from the Petra Mare Hotel, in Crete, in August 2006.

His sister, Mia, then aged two, survived with a broken arm after they were pushed off the balcony by their father during a family holiday.

Mr Hogan, who has since been divorced by his wife Natasha Visser, is currently receiving treatment under the Mental Heath Act at a psychiatric unit.

The inquest at Avon Coroner's Court, in Flax Bourton, near Bristol, is being held after the original verdict - recorded in 2008 that Liam was unlawfully killed by his father - was overturned by the High Court.

Two judges ruled that the verdict made by the then Avon Coroner Paul Forrest was flawed and needed "further consideration".

They indicated that a "really quite serious error of law" had occurred because the question of Hogan's mental state "was simply not addressed".

The Greek jury in Mr Hogan's trial decided the former tiler had been suffering from an "earthquake of insanity" during the trip to Crete.

Hogan, from Bradley Stoke, near Bristol, went on the holiday with then wife Mrs Visser in a bid to salvage their marriage.

The incident happened shortly before they were due to return home.

Mrs Visser, who has remarried and moved to Australia with her family, has not attended the new inquest, although she is legally represented.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all