A man attacked his pregnant ex-wife with a crossbow after “festering with hatred” about her new boyfriend, a court heard this week as the man is being tried for her murder.
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, is on trial for killing his ex-wife, Devi Unmathallegadoo, 35, after shooting her in the heart with a crossbow at her home in east London. He pleaded not guilty.
Devi was eight months pregnant with her second husband Imtiaz Muhammad’s baby at the time of the crime. The baby survived after being delivered via C-section. Devi died hours later.
The couple initially met after they were introduced for an arranged marriage. They married in 1999, separated in 2012, and divorced two years later.
Prosecutors allege that Ramanodge has been planning the attack since 2015. “By March 2018 and he had acquired two crossbows and numerous arrows or bolts with which to carry out the attack,” prosecutor Richard Horwell QC told the court.
Before the attack, he also allegedly kept eyes on Devi’s house to see if her garden shed, where he was storing different weapons, was locked or not. The morning of the attack, he was in the shed waiting for her.
Devi and her boyfriend tried to flee during the attack, but Devi ran upstairs and Ramanodge soon ran after her, shooting her before she could make it to a safe spot.
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Earlier this year after his arrest, Ramanodge claimed that he was concerned that Muhammad was raising his children in the Muslim faith. “I only wanted to confront Imtiaz over the treatment my daughter was going through – he would force her to pray in the Islamic faith and she didn’t want to. She was forced to eat halal food and she was forced to wear non-European clothes.”
The trial is on-going.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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