December 2020

Child killer locked up in psychiatric hospital indefinitely

A shopkeeper who slit the throats of his two children and later claimed has been sent to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely.
Nadarajah Nithiyakumar, 41, killed 18-month-old Pavinya and her three-year-old brother Nigish while his wife was in the shower during lockdown on 26 April.
He told their mother, Nisanthini: ‘I’ve cut off the children’ when she walked into the bedroom to find him standing over them with a knife covered in blood.
The delusional father told doctors he had been ‘frustrated’ because he suspected customers were trying to torment him at CVS Superstore in Hainault, Essex, and he has being ‘followed’ by Scotland Yard.
He contemplated ‘suicide’ when he finished his shift and decided to kill himself and his children when he returned home to their tiny flat in Aldborough Parade, Ilford.
The father believed his children would become ‘naughty’ if they were left without a father and resolved to end their lives before his own.
Without warning, the ‘quiet’ and ‘affectionate’ husband picked up two kitchen knives while the oblivious mother was in the bathroom and ‘unleashed horror.’
Mrs Nithiyakumar was later heard screaming: ‘My husband cut my babies’ in a 999 call before police arrived at the address to find her ‘hysterical’ at 5.37pm.
Baby Pavinya was pronounced dead at the scene and Nigish was rushed to Royal London Hospital where he died two hours later.
Nithiyakumar was placed into an induced coma after stabbing himself in the neck and chest with a third knife during the attack, the court heard.
He survived surgery and asked officers how his wife and children were when he was arrested at the hospital under suspicion of murder upon waking.
The father later described to police ‘in detail’ how he killed his children with a knife because believed they would suffer without him.
Assisted in the dock today by a Tamil interpreter, Nithiyakumar appeared wearing a dark blue hoodie with a surgical mask.
He remained expressionless throughout the sentencing, having admitted two counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.
The pleas were accepted by the prosecution as lesser alternatives to murder.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told the court: ‘It was on Sunday 26 April of this year that, motivated by the delusional disorder from which he suffered and without any prior warning the defendant killed his children aged 18 months and three years by slitting their throats with a knife before similarly seeking to harm himself.
‘The defendant is 40 years of age born in Sri Lanka in September 1979. He came to this country in 1999 where he was granted first asylum and then citizenship.
‘He married his wife who is present in 2012. She describes him as a very quiet and uncommunicative man, she was not aware of any issues however as to money, drink, drugs or issues with his mental health.
‘She said in her witness statement he would keep himself to himself, would not share conversation with her, was very quiet and wouldn’t talk a lot.
‘She says she would share everything with him and he would not do the same. He was however affectionate towards [her] and the children.
‘He would cook and do housework and apart from his quietness he was a good husband.
‘The defendant at the time worked in CVS Superstore in Hainault. He had worked there for some years having previously been employed at Tesco.’
Nithiyakumar had been known to mental health services since 2010 when he was prescribed antipsychotic medication but had ‘sporadic’ contact with them.
A decade before the tragedy he started believing he was being followed by Scotland Yard and ‘views about his sexuality’ had been formed by unknown adversaries.
The prosecutor said the father had described himself as ‘frustrated rather than angry’ when he became convinced that others were ‘gossiping’ about him after moving to the UK in 1999.
But he appeared ‘normal’ to those who saw him in the hours before the bloodbath and had no issues with shoppers.
The prosecutor went on: ‘His employer found him to be a calm and quiet individual. After the incident he was to refer to issues he had at Tesco following a prolonged absence in India, which involved a belief that others were gossiping about him.
A decade before the tragedy he started believing he was being followed by Scotland Yard and ‘views about his sexuality’ had been formed by unknown adversaries.
The prosecutor said the father had described himself as ‘frustrated rather than angry’ when he became convinced that others were ‘gossiping’ about him after moving to the UK in 1999.
But he appeared ‘normal’ to those who saw him in the hours before the bloodbath and had no issues with shoppers.
The prosecutor went on: ‘His employer found him to be a calm and quiet individual. After the incident he was to refer to issues he had at Tesco following a prolonged absence in India, which involved a belief that others were gossiping about him.
It was a little over an hour later at 5.39pm that the owner of the shop next door, Mr Sivasthusanem, heard the sound of screaming coming from the flat, the court heard
‘He went to investigate and found the source of the screaming was the defendant’s wife.
‘She (Nithiyakumar’s wife) was at the time already seeking to call the emergency services.
‘She had seen the defendant standing with a knife in his hand and he said: “I’ve cut off the children”.
‘He said: ‘There’s a problem in my workplace. I’m going to die. Police are looking for me. If they get the children they will spoil them, that’s why I did this to the children.’
‘She was understandably and extremely distressed on the 999 call but she did say: “My husband cut my babies.” The police arrived at 5.37pm. They found Ms Nithiyakumar screaming and hysterical.
‘[The children] were lying on the bed. Each had suffered injuries to their necks.
‘There was a large amount of blood there and also in the shower cubicle which is where the knife was recovered. It was a kitchen knife with a blade of five to six inches.
‘Police and London Ambulance Service sought to provide treatment but despite extensive efforts on their part Pavinya was pronounced dead at the scene.
‘Her older brother was still alive with a cut to his neck from which air was escaping. Despite medical treatment at Royal London Hospital, Nigish was confirmed to be dead at 7.42pm that evening.
A post-mortem revealed that Nigish died from a slash wound to his neck which cut through the pharynx and larynx.
Pavinya suffered a similar injury which penetrated the trachea and left jugular vein.
Mr Atkinson said: ‘He told police he could not manage himself as he was depressed and stressed. He said while at work in the shop customers had upset him, an account which was not borne out by the CCTV.
‘He said on the way home he thought about killing himself. Due to his committing suicide they would drink alcohol and smoke cannabis.
‘He had therefore resolved to kill his children as well. He told police he had meant to kill them.’
The father said he felt that ‘60%’ of customers had been hell-bent on intruding on him by deliberately blowing ‘alcohol fumes’ on him when he was assessed by a psychiatrist.
Summing up Nithiyakumar’s account of events leading up to the tragedy, Dr Nigel Blackwood wrote in a report: ‘He thought of killing himself – dying would be better than living. He thought if he died his children would be naughty, they would smoke cannabis, drink alcohol and become criminal offenders.
‘He therefore resolved to kill them. When his wife went into the shower he secured two knives from the kitchen and cut the throats of Pavinya and Nigish while they slept.
‘His wife came out of the bathroom and took one knife from him. He secured another knife, cut his own throat and stabbed himself in the chest.’
In a heartbreaking written statement read to the court, the mother remembered ‘perfect’ and ‘helpful’ Nigish and ‘playful’ Pavinya.
She said in full: ‘I feel very empty in life. I’m constantly thinking what the point of me living is. This has had a devastating impact on my life, losing my two beautiful children.
‘I never expected this incident to happen in my life and as a mother to outlive my children.
‘On the day I saw what he had done to them I couldn’t understand if it was a dream or a nightmare but those shocking images will never leave me.
‘After my children were born I was the happiest woman in the world. Every minute of time I spent with my kids. They were my happiest moments. They were both my world and I doted on them.
‘I spent all my time with them – even when I went to the toilet they would cry after me. Of course they loved their dad but they were very close to me.
‘Nigish was such an active boy, he had just started to speak and was going to be a very inspirational boy who could read nursery rhymes and the alphabet.
‘He would show such appreciation when we praised him, having such a lovely smile and personality. He was playful and loved to be outside playing and watching the buses go by. He was never in any trouble and was the perfect child.
‘He loved playing with his building blocks and toys. I so miss watching him play with his toys.
‘Pavinya was part of a twin I lost. She was a blessing and miracle. I was so worried during my pregnancy, and worried but relieved when she was born healthy.
‘I so loved my children. I wanted them to be happy and be their own heroes in whatever they did. I felt they were very clever for their age which made me very happy and proud.’
The court heard Nithiyakumar has been receiving treatment at the John Howard Centre where doctors have said he continues to show ‘very chronic delusions of persecution.’
Steven Perian, QC, defending, said the ‘tragedy’ had devastated the lives of both parents.
Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Cutts ruled the father’s ‘dangerousness’ was a result of his mental illness and said a prison sentence would be inappropriate
‘I accept the offences were highly specific but I cannot agree that this means the risk to others is low,’ Justice Cutts said.
‘Were your condition to go untreated and you found yourself in the same position again, the risk of harm to members of the public would likely be significant.
‘It is not yet known… How complete your recovery will be, although I note psychiatrists observe progress to date has been slow.
‘These offences were particularly grave and would were it not for your mental illness bear substantial sentences of imprisonment.
‘Your retained responsibility for these offences falls into the lowest category.
‘Successful treatment of that condition… Would also mean you were no longer dangerous.’
Nithiyakumar, of Ilford, admitted two counts of manslaughter.

He was sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment indefinitely and will not be released until doctors deem it safe to do so.