Court hears how dad killed pregnant ex with crossbow in ‘violent revenge’
World / 10 April 2019, 07:10am / JIM NORTON AND MIKE BEDIGAN
East London – A father of three spent a year amassing a cache of weapons before hiding in his ex-wife’s garden shed and killing her with a crossbow, a court heard on Tuesday.
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, is alleged to have killed heavily pregnant Sana Muhammad, 35, in a ‘devastating and murderous act of revenge’ last year.
The 18-inch crossbow bolt narrowly missed the mother-of-five’s unborn baby boy, who ‘miraculously’ survived after being delivered by emergency caesarean, the Old Bailey was told.
Prosecuting, Peter Wright QC said Unmathallegadoo’s arranged marriage to Mrs Muhammad had ‘disintegrated’ after 13 years and they separated in 2012.
That same year, she married the couple’s former kitchen decorator, Imtiaz Muhammed, 42, who moved into the family home in Ilford, East London.
But her ex-husband did ‘not react well’, quitting his job as a hospital site manager and developing a ‘deeply held desire for a most violent revenge’, Mr Wright said.
He spent at least a year plotting to kill the couple, spending £2 000 on weapons and using his children to carry out surveillance on his former family home. On the morning of November 12 last year, he took up position in the garden shed armed with two ‘ferocious’ crossbows, a hammer, knife, cable ties and duct tape.
When Mr Muhammad went into the garden, the court heard Unmathallegadoo emerged brandishing a high-powered hunting crossbow. He chased him into the house before shooting his ex-wife as she ran up the stairs screaming to her children.
Her five children – aged at the time between two and 17 – tried to help her, with two trying to shield her from the defendant and the eldest two disarming him.
Mrs Muhammad was taken to the Royal London Hospital where her son was delivered not breathing before being revived, but she succumbed to her injuries. During the trial opening on Tuesday, Mr Wright said it was “a cold-blooded execution by a man who was consumed by hatred and an unquenchable thirst for revenge”.
Unmathallegadoo had wed Mrs Muhammad in an arranged marriage when she was 16 in their home country of Mauritius in 1999. But the court heard their relationship was ‘not a happy one’.
In 2012, Unmathallegadoo was arrested in an incident when Mrs Muhammad jumped out the first-floor window and fractured her heel. He was acquitted following a trial, but while he was on bail, Mr Muhammad moved into the family home. Mrs Muhammad had met and become friends with Mr Muhammad – who was already married with a son in Pakistan – while he worked on a property next door in 2011. They grew closer when he decorated her kitchen, and she later converted to Islam and married him in June 2012.
The court heard Unmathallegadoo was “distressed” at the turn of events and would turn up at the house “begging and crying” for her to come back to him.
He took sick leave from his role as site manager at Newham General Hospital in East London and stopped paying the bills and mortgage on the family home. Jurors heard that he may have begun planning his attack as far back as April 2015 after buying his first crossbow.
He twice built up a “cache of weaponry”, including kitchen knives and harpoon spears, and hid it next to an overgrown substation near the family home. However, his plan was “thwarted” both times when a female neighbour found them. She reported them to police, who took them away.
Unmathallegadoo, of no fixed address, denies murder and the attempted destruction of a child capable of being born alive.