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SRI LANKAN TAMIL FATHER COMMITS SUICIDE IN COURT WHEN FOUND GUILTY OF SEVERELY HARMING BABY DAUGHTER

By Walter Jayawardhana

Making a record as the first man to commit suicide in a British court a Sri Lankan Tamil drank poison on the dock at Isleworth Crown Court in London and took his life.

Anandakumar Rathnasabapathy (40) took a concoction made out of crushed sleeping tablets on the dock of the court when he was found guilty of assaulting his baby daughter and leaving her quadriplegic , epileptic and partially blind, an inquest held into his death was told.

The Sri Lankan Tamil’s death is considered the first suicide inside a court room although in 1904 a British mining tycoon named Whitaker Wright took his life in a toilet of a court room of the Old Bailey after he was convicted for fraud.

In the Isleworth Crown Court Rathnasabapathy was convicted for assaulting his three month old baby daughter and he had told his interpreter before that if he was found guilty he would drink the fatal concoction which he carried in a coca-cola bottle and die.

Even before that he had repeatedly threatened that he would take his life if found guilty of the charge of grievous bodily harm and child cruelty to his three month old baby daughter. He hurt the baby by blocking her nose and mouth deliberately, it was found.

It was revealed at the inquest that Rathnasabapathy told his interpreter , Milroy Rasiah, during his trial at Isleworth Crown Court that he wanted to kill himself by drinking the fatal dose he had brought in his carrying case.

The interpreter said, “Mr Ratnasabapathy put his hand in the carrier bag. He had something wrapped in a small packet of paper. He opened the bottle and quickly started putting the powder from the packet into the bottle. He shook the bottle then he started drinking it very quickly.” This happened on June 28.

Giving further evidence Rasiah said , “The judge ordered that a doctor be called and that that Ratnasabapathy be taken to the cells, where he died later.”

Analysis of his blood revealed 12 micrograms per millilitre of the drug diphenhydramine, which was in the “fatal range”, John Slaughter, a forensic scientist, told West London Coroner’s Court. The inquest continues.

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