A shopkeeper who slit the throats of his two children and later claimed customers had been breathing ‘alcohol fumes’ on him has been sent to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely.
Nadarajah Nithiyakumar killed 18-month-old Pavinya and three-year-old brother Nigish while his wife was in the shower during lockdown on April 26.
Nithiyakumar, of Ilford, previously admitted two counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was sentenced at the Old Bailey today.
After the attack, the 41-year-old told the children’s 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 dad told doctors he had been “frustrated” because he suspected that customers were trying to torment him at CVS Superstore in Hainault, Essex.
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 Ilford, East London.
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, he 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 the incident, 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.
In mitigation, Steven Perian QC said: “The defendant realises what he has done. He has started to understand his actions and is devastated from what has occurred.”
Mrs Justice Cutts handed him a hospital order without limit of time.
She told him: “The consequences of your actions have been devastating.
“Two young and innocent children have had their futures and their lives taken from them by their own father.
“Your wife came out of the shower on what she considered to be a normal day to the most horrific scene imaginable.
“Her babies dead or dying on the bed, you with a knife in your hand.”
Assisted in the dock by an 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.
In a victim impact statement, the children’s mother, Nisanthini Nithiyakumar, said: “After my children were born I was the happiest woman in the world. Every moment I spent with my kids, these were my happiest moments.
“They were both my world and I doted on them, my future ambitions and my life surrounded my children.”
She said Nigish had a lovely smile and personality and Pavinya was a “blessing and miracle”.
Of their killings, she said: “I never expected this sort of incident to happen in my life and a mother to outlive her children.
“On the day of the incident I saw my children and what he did to them. I could not understand if it was dream or a nightmare, with those shocking images never leaving me.”
The court heard that the defendant had been granted asylum after arriving in Britain from Sri Lanka in 1999.
He first came to the attention of mental health services in 2010 and was put on anti-psychotic medication but his treatment lapsed.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “This is a tragic case in which two young children sadly lost their lives in the care of someone trusted to protect them.
“We all have a duty to look out for the welfare of children. If anyone has any concerns about a child please call the NSPCC’s helpline, free and in confidence on 0808 800 5000.”