Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Balcony boy 'unlawfully killed'

Liam Hogan was pushed to his death by his father John from a Greek hotel balcony, an inquest has heard
Liam Hogan was pushed to his death by his father John from a Greek hotel balcony, an inquest has heard

A six-year-old boy who was pushed to his death by his father from a Greek hotel balcony was unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.

Liam Hogan was on holiday with his father John, mother Natasha and younger sister Mia when he died in August 2006.

The inquest in Flax Bourton, near Bristol, heard evidence from eyewitnesses who saw Hogan stand behind his two children and push them off the fourth floor balcony before jumping 50ft to the ground himself.

Hogan, 37, a former tiler, was too ill to attend the three-day hearing as he is receiving treatment under the Mental Heath Act at a psychiatric unit.

His former wife, Natasha Visser, also did not attend. Since Liam's death she has remarried and emigrated to Australia with Mia, now aged seven.

Liam died from severe head injuries and his sister, then aged two, survived with a broken arm after they were pushed from the Petra Mare Hotel by their father during the family holiday.

A new inquest was held after the original verdict in 2008 - that Liam was unlawfully killed by his father - was overturned by the High Court.

Two judges ruled that the verdict by 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 Hogan's trial decided he had been suffering from an "earthquake of insanity" during the trip to Crete.

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