London, June 25
A 36-year-old Indian woman in the UK has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility after she admitted killing her five-year-old daughter at their home because she was terrified of dying from Covid-19 and thought the little girl could not live without her, according to a media report.
Sutha Sivanantham stabbed her daughter Sayagi in the bedroom of their south London flat 15 times before severely injuring herself on June 30 last year, the Metro.co.uk reported.
Her husband said she had been ‘petrified’ about catching the virus and the lockdown restrictions may have ‘pushed her over the edge,’ the report added.
Appearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, Sivanantham denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and will be kept in hospital indefinitely.
Sivanantham, who had been living in the UK since 2006 after an arranged marriage, complained of mystery ailments for almost a year before the tragedy.
She developed a ‘morbid concern’ she was seriously ill and had become convinced she was going to die, prosecutors said.
On the day of the attack, she begged her husband not to go to work and called friends to tell them she was unwell.
Around 4 pm, neighbours went to the flat in Monarch Parade, Mitcham, and found Sivanantham with stab wounds to her abdomen.
Sayagi, who was lying on the bed, had been stabbed several times in the neck, chest and abdomen.
Sutha was also found to have suffered self-inflicted stab injuries and was taken to hospital, where she remained for more than two months receiving treatment before being discharged into police custody.
Sainsbury’s worker Suganthan Sivanantham was called at the supermarket to be told that his wife had killed their daughter at their home, the report said.
He sobbed loudly in the dock as his impact statement was read to the court.
It said: ‘I get very emotional having to relive what has happened to my daughter and my wife.’
He said before the killing the family had lived a ‘happy fulfilling and blissful life.’ Since then he has had to give up work and ‘each day is a struggle.’
Sivanantham said he has not spoken to his wife but accepts she was not responsible for her actions.
‘I know that if she was well she would not have been able to kill our daughter,’ he said.
One psychiatrist who has treated Sivanantham found that the social isolation and stress caused by the Covid-19 lockdown contributed to her serious mental illness.