Murder of Malayali nurse and kids in UK: Husband remanded in judicial custody

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Anju and her daughters, Saju | Photo: Mathrubhumi

London: A man charged with the triple murder of an Indian nurse and her two children appeared in court in eastern England on Monday for a brief hearing and was remanded in judicial custody until the next hearing later this week.

Saju Chelavalel, 52, known locally as the husband of the deceased nurse Anju Asok, was charged by Northamptonshire Police on Saturday night with the murder of 35-year-old Asok, six-year-old Jeeva Saju and four-year-old Janvi Saju in the family's residence in Kettering. Chelavalel appeared before Wellingborough Magistrates' Court in Northamptonshire and spoke only to confirm his name and address. There was no application for bail and the judge informed the accused that he would remain in custody until the next hearing in the case, scheduled for Northampton Crown Court for Wednesday.

The local police had earlier confirmed the cause of death for all three victims as asphyxiation.

“Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Anju, Jeeva and Janvi, who we are determined to seek justice for,” said Detective Inspector Simon Barnes, the Senior Investigating Officer in the case.

Now that Chelavalel has been charged with three counts of murder, very minimum details of the case can be reported ahead of a jury trial expected in the new year.

He was arrested by Northamptonshire Police officers when they were called to his address in Kettering on Thursday morning, when the three victims were discovered with serious injuries.

“On attendance, officers found Anju Asok, 35, Jeeva Saju, 6, and Janvi Saju, 4, with serious injuries and despite the best efforts of paramedics, police officers and hospital staff all three sadly died a short time later,” the police said.

“Forensic post-mortem examinations have taken place at Leicester Royal Infirmary, where it was concluded all three died as a result of asphyxiation,” the statement noted.

Anju Asok, originally from Viakom in Kottayam district of Kerala, had been employed at the local hospital in Kettering since last year. She worked as a nurse in the orthopaedic department of Kettering General Hospital, which has paid tributes to its “committed and compassionate” staff nurse. Kettering Park Infant Academy, where the two children went to school, said they are "devastated" by the news of the deaths.

Tributes have continued to pour in for the deceased, with flowers and notes left near the family's home in Kettering.


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