Man killed pregnant ex-wife with crossbow in act of revenge, court told
A heavily pregnant woman was shot dead by her crossbow-wielding ex-husband in a "deliberate and calculated act of revenge", a court has heard.
Mother-of-five Devi Unmathallegadoo, 35, was allegedly attacked in her home by "obsessed" Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, who had burst out of the garden shed armed with two crossbows.
She died from devastating internal injuries but her unborn baby was delivered by Caesarean section and survived, the Old Bailey heard.
Prosecutor Peter Wright QC told jurors the couple had been divorced since 2014 and the victim, whose first marriage had been arranged, had formed a new relationship.
Meanwhile, the defendant had "not reacted well" and spent a year plotting against his ex-wife and her partner, Mr Wright said.
The former site manager at Newham General Hospital developed a "deeply held desire for a most violent revenge", he said.
The attack in November last year was the culmination of a series of preparations over the course of a year to "ensure a successful outcome to what was to be a devastating and murderous act of revenge on his former wife and her new partner", jurors were told.
As early as November 2017, he had allegedly stored items near the family home and went on to acquire two crossbows and numerous bolts.
In March 2018 the cache of weaponry and equipment was discovered by a neighbour by chance and removed, the court heard.
But the defendant was determined and set about replacing it, jurors heard.
He also carried out surveillance of the home, noting down the comings and goings of the family, it was claimed.
By the morning of November 12 2018, he had allegedly taken up position in the shed, awaiting his moment to strike with two new crossbows, bolts, a hammer, a knife in a home-made sheath, cable ties and duct tape.
The prosecution claimed his plan was to restrain his ex-wife and her new partner, and then kill them and their unborn child.
But he was disturbed when the victim's partner took a box to store in the shed, jurors heard.
The defendant chased him into the house, carrying the two crossbows, and shot his ex-wife as she fled upstairs.
He was disarmed by two of the older children in the house and allegedly told them: "It would have been easier if you guys weren't here, like I would have done it."
Afterwards, the defendant claimed his intended target was her new partner and he shot his ex-wife by accident.
But Mr Wright suggested the evidence would show the victim, who was also known as Sana, was the "principal target".
He said: "This was a quite deliberate and calculated act of revenge on his part intended to cause at the very least the death of Devi and the extinction of the child she carried."
The defendant, formerly of Ilford, has denied murder and the attempted destruction of the unborn child.