'Cold-blooded' crossbow killer who shot heavily pregnant ex-wife facing life behind bars

22 November 2019, 14:32 | Updated: 22 November 2019, 16:24

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo and Sana Muhammad
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo and Sana Muhammad. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Megan White

A “cold-blooded” man who shot his heavily pregnant ex-wife dead with a crossbow is facing life behind bars.

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, burst into the home of Sana Muhammad and fired an arrow into her stomach as she fled upstairs.

The 35-year-old suffered catastrophic internal injuries and died, but her unborn son - her sixth child - was delivered by Caesarean section and miraculously survived.

The court heard how Ms Muhammad had an arranged marriage to Unmathallegadoo in Mauritius on her 16th birthday. He was 35 at the time.

One of the crossbows Unmathallegadoo was armed with
One of the crossbows Unmathallegadoo was armed with. Picture: Metropolitan Police

After a trial in 2013, he was cleared of attacking her and acquitted on the judge's direction of a charge of attempted strangulation under the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861.

She successfully filed for an emergency non-molestation order which barred the defendant from coming within 100 metres of the family home in Ilford, east London.

Following her divorce, she married builder Imtiaz Muhammad and changed her name to Sana Muhammad.

Meanwhile, the defendant lost his job as a site manager at Newham General Hospital and slept rough as he plotted revenge.

On the morning of November 12 2018, he took up position in the garden shed armed with two crossbows, bolts, a knife, duct tape, cable ties and a hammer.

Unmathallegadoo hid in the garden shed
Unmathallegadoo hid in the garden shed. Picture: Metropolitan Police

He was disturbed by Mr Muhammad who had gone into the garden to store an empty box.

The defendant ran inside the house and shot his ex-wife with an 18-inch arrow as she fled upstairs.

The prosecution suggested Unmathallegadoo's plan had been to restrain the family and at least kill the two adults and the unborn child.

A jury rejected the defendant's claim it was an accident and found him guilty of murder after four hours of deliberations.

Adjourning sentencing to November 29, Judge Mark Lucraft QC told the defendant: "You have been convicted of the most horrendous crime in the face of your own children and it's extremely grave what you have carried out."

A reconstruction of where Sana Muhammad was hit with the arrow
A reconstruction of where Sana Muhammad was hit with the arrow. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Afterwards, Mrs Muhammad's widower paid tribute to his outgoing and bubbly "soul mate".

Imtiaz Muhammad said: "She was very friendly, talkative and always made me laugh. She was my soul mate, my best friend, my wife, my companion and my everything and I love her dearly.

"Ram must have been very jealous of the life Sana and I had and that we were living a happy life."

Her mother, Ellemah Sutharamandoo, said she was "overwhelmed" with sadness.

She said: "I always treated Ramanodge as my own son, I always thought of him and his wellbeing after the separation. It brings me so much pain to know that he could be capable of something so hateful and so calculated. I cannot forgive him."

Detective Sergeant Amjad Sharif, of Scotland Yard, said: "At a time when she should have been happily looking forward to the birth of her new child, Sana Muhammad was killed in cold blood by her ex-husband, Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo.

"The circumstances and detail of the case are harrowing and I would like to pay tribute to the strength and dignity of Sana's friends and family, some of who have given evidence during the trial. "

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