Newbury Park crossbow killer was not suffering mental health issues, court hears
- Credit: Archant
A man who shot his pregnant ex-wife dead with a crossbow in her Newbury Park home was not suffering mental health issues, a court has heard.
Old Bailey jurors were today (April 23) told that there is no psychiatric evidence for them to consider in reaching a verdict as to whether or not Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo murdered his ex-wife Sana Muhammad.
The court previously heard how the defendant hid in his ex-wife’s garden shed before shooting her dead on the stairs of her Applegarth Drive home on November 12 last year.
Prosecutor Peter Wright QC told jurors that the incident was a premeditated “revenge attack” and that he had also intended to kill Sana’s unborn baby with her new partner Imtiaz.
But Mr Unmathallegadoo maintains that it was an accident and he had only intended to “confront” Imtiaz about allegedly imposing his Islamic faith on his daughter.
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He claims he equipped himself with two crossbows as a “deterrent” so he would not be attacked by Imtiaz, a “big man” as he described.
He maintains he was aiming at a wooden bannister while checking the crossbow’s safety mechanism when it fired accidentally and fatally wounded Sana, known as Devi Unmathallegadoo before her remarriage, the court heard.
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Jurors today submitted a question to Judge Nicholas Hilliard which read: “What was the mental state of the defendant on November 12, 2018?”.
“There is nothing to suggest that there is any psychiatric factor that affects any of the questions that you are being asked to decide on,” Judge Hilliard responded.
“The answer is that there is no suggestion and no evidence that there is anything about the defendant’s psychiatric state on November 12 that would affect any of the questions you have to consider.
“Nor does the defendant say that.
“You have seen him for yourself over a period of time on the body worn footage and over the time he was in police custody.”
This footage appears to show Mr Unmathallegadoo capable of making decisions and carry out intentions as normal as well as answering questions about what his intentions were.
“Both [parties] in their different ways say that he had the background of the breakdown of his marriage on his mind,” the judge added.
“There is no evidence in this case that there was a psychiatric factor that would affect any of the questions you would have to decide.”
In his closing speech, prosecutor Mr Wright said: “[Sana’s] killing was the first stage of a most calculated and quite deliberate series of attacks by a man who was quite simply overcome with an uncontrollable desire for revenge.”
“Revenge – as he saw it – for the destruction of his life.
“His plan, though, had at least two additional stages, to kill the child Devi was carrying and the execution of the life of the man who had usurped him, as he saw it, in the life of Devi and her children.”
He dismissed Mr Unmathallegadoo’s testimony that he purchased his five crossbows to hunt rabbits and fish with his brother back home in Mauritius as “a nonsense”.
“There was no back-to-front three-year-long plan to return to a rural simplicity in Mauritius for the purpose of pleasure or hunting,” he said.
But defence barrister Mr Ian Henderson asked jurors to consider why Mr Unmathallegadoo would wait until six years after his separation from Sana before exacting his apparent revenge.
“She started a new relationship with Imtiaz. He was arrested and faced a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court,” he said.
“Him being acquitted but losing his wife, his children, his home, his job and immediately being made homeless.
“These facts alone provide ample grounds for resentment.”
“You have to ask yourself why he waited six years until 2018 to exact revenge?”
He highlighted that Imtiaz had and Sana had two children during those intervening four years, during which Mr Unmathallegadoo could have launched a similar attack.
He added: “Is it any coincidence that Mr Unmathallegadoo is a shorter, smaller, apparently older man than Imtiaz?
“Does that help explain why he decided to take the irrational decision to take his crossbows to confront Imtiaz?”
Mr Unmathallegadoo denies murder and attempted child destruction.
The jury is now out.