Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo was convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury after a retrial
An obsessed husband has today been found guilty of shooting his heavily pregnant ex-wife dead with a crossbow.
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo planned the revenge execution of Devi Muhammad for more than three years as his hatred ‘grew and festered’.
The 51-year-old amassed an arsenal of deadly weapons and lay in wait in Mrs Muhammad’s garden shed armed with two crossbows, bolts, a knife, duct tape, cable ties and a hammer.
He then chased her new husband Imtiaz Muhammad into the kitchen.
His plan was to restrain the couple and kill them along with their eagerly anticipated child.
He chased the mother-of-five, 35, and shot her in the stomach as she attempted to flee up the stairs of her home in Ilford, east London.
Mrs Muhammad, who was eight months pregnant, died after the 18-inch hunting bolt pierced her heart but it ‘miraculously missed’ her unborn child who survived following an emergency caesarean section.
Unmathallegadoo was convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury after a retrial.
The court heard Devi’s parents had arranged her marriage to Unmathallegadoo when she was 15 and he was 30, but the unhappy relationship ended in 2012.
She then began a relationship and later married builder Mr Muhammad, who had decorated the newlyweds’ kitchen.
When he was later told he had shot his ex-wife at the police station, and narrowly avoided killing her baby Unmathallegadoo remarked: ‘Well that’s unfortunate’.
The prosecutor said: ‘It was a cold-blooded execution by a man who had a resolute desire for revenge and who had been consumed by hatred for a former wife who had left him for another man.’
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo (left) shot Devi Unmathallegadoo (right) at her home
Unmathallegadoo had been hiding in the back garden shed of the home Devi shared with her new partner and children in Ilford before he got into the house and shot her with a crossbow on 12 November last year. The crossbow bolt, which was fired upwards from the bottom of the stairs, entered through Devi’s hip and pierced her heart
Ms Unmathallegadoo’s unborn baby was delivered by Cesarean and survived the attack
Bodycam footage captured the moment Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo was arrested
The garden shed where Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo hid before shooting his heavily pregnant ex-wife dead
Heartbroken husband pays tribute to his ‘soulmate and best friend’
Imtiaz Muhammad, Sana’s husband, paid a heartfelt and emotional tribute to his wife in court.
He said: ‘Sana was a very outgoing and bubbly type of person. 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.
‘Sana was a very family orientated woman who brought up our kids while I went to work. She had strong family values and believed children should be greeted by a parent and loved when they got home from school.
‘We had our future together. We had a very strong bonding with all our kids.. Ram has finished everything. We all feel lost now
‘Ram must have been very jealous of the life Sana and I had and that we were living a happy life.
‘Sana was feeling scared since Ram had started seeing the kids. She would always say ‘Ram does not forgive and forget he likes to create trouble no matter if he loses everything.’
Ellemah (Joytee) Sutharamandoo, Sana’s Mother, said the loss of her only child has ‘had a profound impact on me and my life.’
She added: ‘I lived for my daughter and my grandchildren – she was my entire world. I now feel alone – there are days I do not want to live.
‘I want to hear her voice, speak to her on the telephone and I cannot. I want to embrace her, to see her beautiful smile and I will never be able to.
‘My life will never be the same. I now live in constant fear and cannot sleep because I think about what happened to her all the time and of how she suffered.
‘The sadness I feel is overwhelming and constant. Every day I think about how the children will cope without their mother – who was taking good care of them and loving them every day.
‘I trusted that my young daughter would be taken care of and kept safe in her marriage, this trust was abused.
‘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.’
Unmathallegadoo and his wife split in 2012 after an incident in which she jumped out of an upstairs window and broke her ankle.
She had told police the defendant had stared at her as he sharpened knives in the garden.
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.
The victim successfully filed for an emergency non-molestation order which barred the defendant from coming within 100 metres of the family home.
Under the order, which was still in place at the time of the killing, Unmathallegadoo was forbidden from contacting his ex-wife directly and was not to threaten or intimidate her or their three children.
Following her divorce, Devi married builder Imtiaz Muhammad and changed her name to Sana Muhammad.
The couple went on to have two children together and were eagerly awaiting the imminent arrival of their third last autumn.
Unmathallegadoo took time off from his role as site manager at Newham General Hospital due to the ‘stress’ of the breakup, then abruptly resigned in early 2013.
He was undeterred when nests of weapons he had planted in foliage near the couple’s house were discovered and handed in to police by a neighbour in November 2017.
The killer carried out further surveillance on the home and began ‘replacing his cache with fresh weapons’ bought on eBay.
He then bought two crossbows online for around £250 each – an MK-XB 55 Package Red Dot and a Hori-Zone Alfa XT – which were discovered stashed near his ex-wife’s home by a neighbour in March 2018.
The police again removed them but just two days after the find the killer again took steps to replenish his armoury.
The neighbour found a selection of kitchen knives and harpoon spears.
By 12 November last year he had bought another two crossbows, bolts, a hammer, a knife in a homemade sheath, cable ties and duct tape.
On the morning of November 12, 2018, Unmathallegadoo took up position in the garden shed.
He was disturbed by Mr Muhammad who had gone into the garden to store an empty box while his wife prepared food for a dinner party that evening.
Mr Muhammad told jurors he thought he was ‘dreaming’ when his wife’s ex-husband emerged armed with two loaded crossbows, and he called for his wife to run as he was chased into the house.
The widower became emotional as he told jurors: ‘When she got an arrow she just screamed. I was thinking, ‘what is happening?’, I was screaming for her.
Mrs Muhammad’s new partner Imtiaz Muhammad, pictured after her death, witnessed the incident unfold
Unmathallegadoo amassed a lethal arsenal of weapons and hid them in the shed, where he lay in wait
Police later found the crossbow bolts in the garden shed
In November 2018 Unmathallegadoo took up position before executing his ex-wife. Mrs Muhammad, 35, suffered catastrophic internal injuries and died
‘Then from there, because he had a second crossbow on his shoulder, I was thinking he’s used one and now the second one might be for me.’
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.’
Afterwards, he told police he was aiming for Mr Muhammad but his former spouse got in the way.
Giving evidence, he claimed the crossbow went off by accident and he bought the weapons to go hunting in Mauritius with his brother.
He told jurors he only wanted to confront Mr Muhammad about his concerns that his daughter was being brought up a Muslim.
The jury in Unmathallegadoo’s first trial was discharged 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.
Bodycam footage shows the moment Met Police officers arrested Unmathallegadoo
Mrs Muhammad was shot dead at the home she shared with her new husband in east London
Susan Krikler, from the CPS, said: ‘This was a cold-blooded and calculated execution. ‘Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo was armed with a crossbow when he launched the deliberate attack on his heavily pregnant former partner.
‘Unmathallegadoo claimed he shot her by accident.
‘However, the CPS was able to present evidence that clearly showed Unmathallegadoo had planned the killing up to a year in advance by purchasing weapons and carrying out surveillance of the family home.
‘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 leading the investigation, 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.
‘Driven by feelings of bitterness and jealousy towards his ex-wife, who had remarried and started a new life, the defendant fired a crossbow, loaded with an 18-inch arrow.
‘Sana, who was eight-months pregnant, had been running away up the stairs and posed absolutely no risk to him. By extreme fortune, the arrow missed the unborn baby.
‘However, Unmathallegadoo showed a complete disregard for the foetus by firing a high-powered weapon from such a short distance.
‘The injuries suffered by Sana as a result of the arrow penetrating 14 inches into her body were catastrophic.
‘The force of the crossbow bolt caused damage to her intestines, stomach, liver and heart. It is clear the crossbow used to kill Sana, which was legally bought and owned by Unmathallegadoo, was intended to be used as a lethal weapon.
‘He had in fact bought a number of crossbows in recent years and appeared to be building up his arsenal of weaponry in the months before Sana was killed.’
Unmathallegadoo will be sentenced on Friday, 29 November.