Newbury Park crossbow killer jailed for life over 'evil' murder of pregnant ex-wife
PUBLISHED: 12:02 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:51 29 November 2019
A crossbow killer has been jailed for 33 years for shooting his heavily pregnant ex-wife in her Newbury Park home in a "brutal and evil" revenge attack.
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, burst into the Applegarth Drive home of Sana Muhammad, who was eight months pregnant, and fired an arrow into her stomach as she fled upstairs.
Mrs Muhammad, 35, formerly known as Devi Unmathallegadoo, suffered catastrophic internal injuries and died.
Her unborn son - her sixth child - was delivered by Caesarean section and miraculously survived.
A jury rejected the defendant's claim it was an accident and found him guilty of murder after four hours of deliberations last week.
Today, Friday, November 29, judge Mark Lucraft QC sentenced him to life with a minimum term of 33 years.
He described the killing of Mrs Muhammad as a "brutal and evil attack", saying if it was not for the presence of her children he would have shot her new husband Imtiaz too.
He told the defendant: "You have carefully planned this attack. You had two loaded crossbows and I'm entirely satisfied you intended an attack on Sana and then on Imtiaz.
"One can only assume that you were jealous of their life together and the fact that they had formed a loving bond between themselves and with your children. The judge said the crossbows and bolts the defendant acquired do not require a licence and can be bought online."
He said: "As is shown by events that followed, they can be used to devastating effect to kill.
"Many I am sure will find the ease with which some items are available deeply concerning - it is for others to consider whether these items should be controlled and require a licence for ownership."
Police were called to the house where Mrs Muhammad lived with her husband Imtiaz and five children on November 12 last year.
Unmathallegadoo, who was armed with two crossbows, had attacked his ex-wife after he was discovered by Imtiaz inside the shed at the end of their garden.
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Imtiaz told his wife to run and she fled up the stairs of the house. However, Unmathallegadoo fired a crossbow bolt at her before she reached the landing.
The bolt, which measured 18 inches, entered Mrs Muhammad's body in her hip and travelled up through her body.
By extreme fortune, it missed the unborn baby.
An emergency caesarean was carried out to deliver the baby, who was initially not breathing but was revived by medical staff.
Despite efforts to save Mrs Muhammad's life, the injuries caused to her internal organs, including her stomach, liver and heart, led to her suffering a heart attack.
Det Sgt Amjad Sharif, who led the investigation, said: "Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo is now likely to spend the majority of the rest of his life in prison.
"This is the appropriate punishment for the cold and calculated way in which he killed his ex-wife, Sana Muhammad.
"The fact Sana's unborn baby managed to survive was due to extreme fortune and the skill of the medical staff who treated her at the scene and at the hospital.
"The baby is now a healthy one-year-old. However, he will grow up without a mother, as will his five siblings. I would like to praise the dignity and strength displayed by Sana Muhammad's family.
"I hope that today's sentence will bring some form of closure for the family."
Det Ch Insp Chris Soole, the senior investigating officer, added: "I would like to express my gratitude to a number of people.
"Firstly, to the family and loved ones of Sana, who conducted themselves with the utmost dignity in what were extremely trying circumstances. My hope is that this sentence will be the start of what no doubt will be a long journey to recovery.
"I would also like to thank all members of my major investigation team who worked tirelessly on this case, which included accurately interpreting hundreds of documents, carrying out dozens of witness interviews and collating thousands of hours of CCTV, all whilst they continued to handle a number of other challenging investigations.
"I am also very grateful to our partners in the Crown Prosecution Service and in particular our barristers Mr Horwell QC and Mr Ratliff, who delivered the case with the utmost professionalism."