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Indian Man From Kerala Faces Life Sentence for Murdering Wife, 2 Children in UK

The wife, Anju, who worked as a nurse at Kettering General Hospital, was declared dead at the scene.

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52-year-old Saju Chelavalel from Kerala has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years behind bars by a UK court after pleading guilty to the murder of his wife from Kerala and their two children.

Chelavalel appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Monday, 3 July. He had previously admitted to killing his wife, Anju Asok, 35, and children Jeeva Saju, 6 and Janvi Saju, 4.

During the sentencing hearing, Justice Edward Pepperall made mention of an audio recording captured at the time of Anju's demise, which was subsequently played to the court.

Emergency services arrived at the Chelvalel family's home in Kettering, Northampton, after a neighbour called them on 15 December 2022.

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In his sentencing remarks, Justice Pepperall said, "While you were squeezing the life out of your wife, your children can be heard crying in the background for their mummy. It is clear that they heard what was going on and knew that she was being hurt by you."

In a report published by NDTV, the Northamptonshire Police stated that officers broke the door down to enter Chelvalel's house to find Saju Chelavalel holding a knife.

Despite repeated attempts made by the police to convince him to put the knife down, Chelvalel continued wielding it while shouting, "You shoot me." The police consequently tasered and arrested him.

The BBC reported that Chelavalel believed his wife was involved in an extramarital affair. He claimed that this led him to lose control while being drunk.

The mother of the two kids, Anju, who worked as a nurse at Kettering General Hospital, was declared dead at the scene. The children were also declared dead a short while later.

According to forensic postmortem examinations, all three victims died due to asphyxiation.

According to NDTV's report, a family spokesperson said in court that Anju's only surviving sister and aunt of the two children was hospitalised for a week in India due to the shock of what happened.

After the deaths, Detective Inspector Simon Barnes, the Senior Investigating Officer from Northamptonshire Police in the case, described Anju as a mother like many all over the world in a statement to the press.

"As an adult, detective and father, I cannot comprehend how Saju Chelavalel could do this and don't think I ever will. He has never fully accounted for what he did or why and will now spend the rest of his life with not much else to think about, but that. There is no amount of time behind bars that will ever be enough for what he did. His primary role as a husband and a father was to protect his family from harm. They should have been at their safest, at home, with him, but he destroyed that."
Detective Inspector Simon Barnes in a press statement

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Topics:  Murder   Kerala   United Kingdom 

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