A London-based shopkeeper has admitted that he slit the throats of his two young children during the UK’s first coronavirus-induced lockdown earlier this year. The man told the police that he had killed his children because he was depressed and his customers had “upset him”, the BBC reported.
Nadarajah Nithiyakumar, 41, attacked his 19-month-old daughter and three-year-old son with a knife at their family home in East London on April 26. The daughter was declared dead at the scene of the incident, while the son was pronounced dead a few hours later at the Royal London Hospital, where he was being treated, the Guardian reported.
Nithiyakumar, too, was treated for knife wounds and was charged with killing his children soon after he was discharged from the hospital.
The children’s mother, who was in the shower at the time of the incident, was the one who alerted the police. Nithiyakumar has since pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey court in London, according to BBC.
During an interview with the police, Nithiyakumar said that he was suffering from depression. He had considered taking his own life, but decided against it as it would “ruin the children’s lives and they would go off the rails”, the Guardian reported.
The prosecutor, Duncan Atkinson QC, told the court that the shopkeeper was suffering from a “delusional disorder” at the time of the incident. “It was one from which he had suffered for some time, for the best part of 10 years, with very little indication and very little treatment,” he added.
As Nithiyakumar had no previous history of violence, the prosecutors felt it was “appropriate to accept the plea of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility”. The judge adjourned sentencing till next month, stating that she would need more information from the man’s doctors, BBC reported.
Nithiyakumar was then sent back to the mental health care centre where he is currently being treated.
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