A crossbow killer who shot his heavily pregnant ex-wife was today jailed for life with a minimum term of 33 years.
Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, shot Sana Muhammad in an act of revenge on the morning of November 12, 2018.
He burst into the home of Sana Muhammad and fired an arrow into her stomach as she fled upstairs. Sana Muhammad, 35, formerly known as Devi Unmathallegadoo, suffered catastrophic internal injuries in the shooting in East London and died.
Her unborn son – her sixth child – was delivered by Caesarean section and miraculously survived.
Ramanodge was found guilty of murder on November 22, 2019, despite claiming it was an accident.
Today, November 29, Judge Mark Lucraft QC described the killing of Mrs Muhammad as a “brutal and evil attack”, saying if it was not for the presence of her children he would have shot her new husband Imtiaz too.
The court heard how the victim had an arranged marriage to Ramanodge in Mauritius on her 16th birthday. He was 30 at the time.
Their unhappy relationship ended in 2012 after an incident in which she jumped out of an upstairs window and broke her ankle. 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.
She successfully filed for an emergency non-molestation order which barred the defendant from coming within 100 metres of the family home in Ilford, east London.
Following her divorce, she married builder Imtiaz Muhammad and changed her name to Sana Muhammad.
But Ramanodge could not let go and he plotted revenge. On the morning of November 12, 2018, he hid in the garden shed of his ex-wife’s home armed with two crossbows, bolts, a knife, duct tape, cable ties and a hammer.
He was disturbed by Mr Muhammad who had gone into the garden to store an empty box. At this point, Ramanodge ran inside the house and shot his ex-wife with an 18-inch arrow as she fled upstairs.
As Ramanodge’s oldest children rushed in to disarm him, he said to them: “It would have been easier if you guys weren’t here, like I would have done it.”
The prosecution suggested Ramanodge’s plan had been to restrain the family and at least kill the two adults and the unborn child.
Sentencing, Judge Mark Lucraft QC told Ramanodge: “You have carefully planned this attack. You had two loaded crossbows and I’m entirely satisfied you intended an attack on Sana and then on Imtiaz.
“One can only assume that you were jealous of their life together and the fact that they had formed a loving bond between themselves and with your children.”
After the guilty verdict last week, Mrs Muhammad’s widower paid tribute to his late wife.
Imtiaz Muhammad said: “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.
“Ram must have been very jealous of the life Sana and I had and that we were living a happy life.”
He said his wife had been “scared” of her ex-husband, adding: “She would always say ‘Ram does not forgive and forget, he likes to create trouble no matter if he loses everything’.”
The victim’s mother, Ellemah Sutharamandoo, said she was “overwhelmed” with sadness.
She said: “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.”