Judges grant review of balcony verdict

Nov. 5, 2008 at 11:41 AM
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LONDON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Two British judges say a man whose son died when the father threw him off a balcony can challenge a coroner's verdict that the act constituted murder.

John Hogan, 34, of Bradley Stoke, England, has been committed to a Greek psychiatric hospital since 2006 when he pushed his son Liam, 6, and daughter Mia, 2, off a hotel balcony in Crete, then followed them over the ledge on a 50-foot drop. Mia survived, but Liam was killed in the fall, the Times of London reported.

Though cleared of murder charges by a Greek court in January, an inquest verdict of unlawful killing was delivered by the Avon Coroner in Britain. Hogan's sister challenged the inquest verdict, and two judges of Britain's High Court agreed Wednesday to allow Hogan to challenge the finding.

In a written opinion, Lord Justice John Dyson and Justice John Griffith Williams said they considered evidence that Hogan's wife had said she intended to leave her husband and take the children with her, and conceded more psychiatric evidence may be needed to come to an understanding of the incident.

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