Man who killed pregnant ex-wife with crossbow jailed for life

A man who murdered his heavily pregnant ex-wife using a crossbow in a "brutal and evil attack" has been jailed for life.

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, will serve at least 33 years in prison for the attack.

The court heard that Unmathallegadoo burst into the home of mother-of-five Sana Muhammad and fired an arrow into her stomach as she fled upstairs.

The victim was killed at her home in Ilford, east London, in November 2018.

She suffered catastrophic internal injuries and died, while her unborn son was delivered by caesarean and miraculously survived.

In sentencing, Judge Mark Lucraft said: "You have carefully planned this attack. You had two loaded crossbows and I'm entirely satisfied you intended an attack on Sana and then on [new husband] Imtiaz.

"One can only assume that you were jealous of their life together and the fact that they had formed a loving bond between themselves and with your children. The judge said the crossbows and bolts the defendant acquired do not require a licence and can be bought online."

The judge added: "As is shown by events that followed, they can be used to devastating effect to kill.

"Many I am sure will find the ease with which some items are available deeply concerning - it is for others to consider whether these items should be controlled and require a license for ownership."

Unmathallegadoo did not give a reaction as he was sentenced.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard from Ms Muhammad's widower, Imtiaz, who said she was his "soulmate".

He added: "Ram (the defendant) must have been very jealous of the life Sana and I had and that we were living a happy life.

"Ram has finished everything. We all feel lost now. The kids are missing their mum too much."

He rejected Unmathallegadoo's argument that he was aiming for him, saying: "He came for Sana not me... His aim was only for Sana."

The jury heard how Unmathallegadoo had an arranged marriage with his ex-wife in Mauritius on her 16th birthday, when he was 30.

Their relationship ended in 2012 after an incident in which she broke her ankle jumping from an upstairs window.

Unmathallegadoo was put on trial the year after, but was cleared of attacking her and attempted strangulation.

She divorced and remarried a builder, Imtiaz Muhammad, and changed her name from Devi Unmathallegadoo.

Mr and Mrs Muhammad had two children together and she was pregnant again when she was murdered.

On the morning of the attack, Unmathallegadoo hid in the victim's garden shed armed with two crossbows, bolts, a knife, duct tape, cable ties and hammer.

Mr Muhammad had gone into the garden to put away an empty box, disturbing Unmathallegadoo who then ran inside the house and shot his ex-wife with an 18-inch arrow as she tried to escape upstairs.

The court had heard he planning the attack while sleeping rough after he lost his job as a site manager at Newham General Hospital.