Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Britain: A Sri Lankan immigrant took his own life in a courtroom moments after being found guilty of assaulting his baby daughter

Stephen Wright:

Ratnasabapathy Anandakumar and his wife Rajani

Ratnasabapathy Anandakumar, 40, drank poison from a Coca-Cola bottle he had smuggled into the dock.

He pulled the bottle out of his bag after being convicted of brutally attacking his daughter when she was three months old.

As judge, lawyers and jurors looked on, he drank the liquid before a security guard could intervene.

He died a few hours later in hospital. It is believed to be the first time a suspect has apparently committed suicide in court.

A security review has been ordered into the incident at Isleworth Crown Court in West London.

The inquiry is expected to focus on the role of the security officer sitting beside Anandakumar on the day of his suicide.

Courtroom guards are supposed to check defendants' clothes and belongings for anything which they could use to harm themselves or others. A prosecution source said "heads should roll" over the apparent security failures, adding: "Everything happened very quickly. The judge was just about to say, 'Send him down' when Anandakumar pulled the bottle out of his bag and apparently committed suicide."

Anandakumar was facing a retrial over charges of subjecting his daughter to prolonged abuse. He was first convicted two years ago and given a five-year sentence.

But he was granted a retrial after his lawyers argued the jury should have heard vital evidence about his mental condition.

Anandakumar caused such severe injuries to his daughter that she was left quadriplegic, epileptic and partially blind. She requires round-the-clock care and has only a 50 per cent chance of reaching 18.

The girl, who was born in July 2002, was taken to hospital from her home in Southall, West London, three months later. She had suffered a heart attack caused by her nose and mouth being deliberately blocked.

Doctors at St Mary's Hospital also discovered she had eight broken bones caused by severe twisting or gripping. Three days later, a nurse spotted Anandakumar shaking the baby's head from side to side. Hours later, he had to be stopped from smothering her.

Anandakumar and his wife, Rajani, both of Sri Lankan origin, were each found guilty of neglecting to seek help for the infant. The father was also found guilty of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mrs Anandakumar who was said to suffer from learning difficulties, was given a three-year community rehabilitation order to run with the psychiatric help she already receives.

Now 42, she came to Britain in 2000 and was granted a permanent visa in 2001. In July 2001, her family arranged for her to marry Ratnasabapathy, who was living in Australia.

They split up in 2005 and their daughter was taken into care that year.

When asked about her ex-husband's death at her flat in West London, Mrs Anandakumar said: "This is the first I have heard of it and I'm very shocked."

She said that when they split up Ratnasabapathy was working in a shop in Heathrow Airport but she had lost contact with him since then.

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed Anandakumar, of Kingshill Avenue, Northolt, West London, was found guilty on June 28 of assault. Toxicology tests are being carried out to identify the poison used in the suicide.

We should encourage more scumbags like this creep to commit suicide.

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