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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Fall man 'mentally disorientated'
John Hogan
John Hogan said he was 'mentally disorientated'
A man who fell from a hotel balcony in Crete with his two children has been charged with the murder of his son, the Foreign Office has said.

John Hogan, 32, from Bradley Stoke, near Bristol, was also charged with the attempted murder of his daughter and attempted suicide.

At Neapoli District Court, he said he had no memory of the fall.

He said he was "mentally disorientated" because of stress from his failing marriage and his tiling business.

His son Liam, six, died after falling 50ft from the hotel balcony on 15 August, while his daughter Mia survived but broke her arm.

Mr Hogan, who was helped into the court as he is still recovering from arm, leg and chest injuries, wept in the arms of his mother and sister before the court hearing.

I was unable to bear the thought that I would live without my children
John Hogan

He told the court in a written statement he had "exploded" when his wife threatened to leave him and take their two children with her.

Combined with stress from his tiling business, Mr Hogan said: "All of these things affected my conscience and mental functions, so when my wife indicated to me that she had decided to leave me I was overwhelmed by confusion.

"I was unable to bear the thought that I would live without my children.

"The desire to self-destruct which exploded within me all of a sudden overwhelmed my instinct of self-preservation and my sense of respect for other human lives. As a result I lost my ability to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong."

Outside the court his lawyer Dimitris Xyritakis said he would plead his client was in a "state of confusion" at the time of the incident.

Family history

The statement also mentioned Mr Hogan's family history, including the suicides of two of his brothers and the death of his father after a long battle with MS.

Mr Hogan was remanded in custody and his trial is not expected to take place until next year.

The Greek court authorities told Mr Hogan he would receive a psychiatric examination, which is likely to take place in Athens.

Mr Hogan was transferred by ferry to the psychiatric unit of Athens' Korydalous jail on Thursday morning after initially being taken back to hospital.

The funeral for Liam was held a day earlier at Holy Trinity church in Bradley Stoke, a short distance from the family home.

Funeral for hotel death fall boy
29 Aug 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Inquest into balcony fall death
22 Aug 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Balcony fall man 'caring father'
21 Aug 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Balcony death fall boy flown home
20 Aug 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Hotel death fall wife back in UK
19 Aug 06 |  Bristol/Somerset

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