A ‘cold-blooded’ crossbow killer who shot his heavily pregnant ex-wife in an act of revenge was today jailed for life with a minimum term of 33 years.
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, burst into the home of Sana Muhammad and fired an arrow into her stomach as she fled upstairs in a ‘brutal and evil attack’.
Mrs Muhammad, 35, formerly known as Devi Unmathallegadoo, suffered catastrophic internal injuries in the shooting in East London and died.
Her unborn son her sixth child was delivered by Caesarean section and miraculously survived.
A jury rejected the defendant’s claim it was an accident and found him guilty of murder on November 22 after four hours of deliberations.
The court heard how the victim had an arranged marriage to the defendant in Mauritius on her 16th birthday. He was 30 at the time.
Their unhappy relationship ended in 2012 after an incident in which she jumped out of an upstairs window and broke her ankle.
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.
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.
As Unmathallegadoo’s oldest children rushed in to disarm him, the defendant said: ‘It would have been easier if you guys weren’t here, like I would have done it.’
The prosecution suggested Unmathallegadoo’s plan had been to restrain the family and at least kill the two adults and the unborn child.
Unmathallegadoo made no reaction as the verdict was delivered last week following a retrial at the Old Bailey.
After the guilty verdict last week, 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.’
He said his wife had been ‘scared’ of the defendant, adding: ‘She would always say ‘Ram does not forgive and forget, he likes to create trouble no matter if he loses everything’.’
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.’
Susan Krikler, from the Crown Prosecution Service, described the killing as a ‘cold-blooded and calculated execution’.
She said: ‘This devastating attack has left six children without their mother. I hope today’s conviction provides some comfort to those who loved and cared for Devi.’
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. ‘
It could also be reported for the first time last week that Unmathallegadoo’s first trial collapsed after a juror raised an issue of psychiatric illness against the judge’s direction not to speculate and despite no evidence being heard about his mental state.