Husband, 52, pleads guilty to murdering his NHS nurse and their two children

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  • April 5, 2023
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triple-killer has pleaded guilty to the murders of his NHS nurse wife and their two young children who died after being found with serious injuries at a flat in Northamptonshire last year.

The Crown’s case against Saju Chelavalel was not opened after he admitted three counts of murder during a 12-minute hearing at Northampton Crown Court on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old, who was remanded in custody and will be sentenced in July, spoke through an interpreter to admit murdering health worker Anju Ashok and children, six-year-old Jeeva Saju and Janvi Saju, aged four.

All three of his victims were found at a property in Petherton Court, Kettering, on December 15 last year.

Northamptonshire Police confirmed after the hearing that the victims were the wife and children of Saju Chelavalel.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Simon Barnes said: “This was an absolutely tragic case and there are no words to articulate the devastation Saju Chelavalel caused when he chose to end the lives of Anju, Jeeva and Janvi.

“I am pleased that he has pleaded guilty and spared Anju’s family and friends the pain of a trial.

“He will have to live with what he has done forever and I hope one day he truly comprehends the pain his actions have caused.”

Despite the efforts of paramedics and police officers, Ms Ashok died at the scene and the two children later died in hospital.

Chelavalel, also of Petherton Court, answered “guilty” to two of the counts he faced, but in relation to the charge of murdering Jeeva he replied: “I don’t know what happened to the children, but I plead guilty.”

Adjourning the case until July 3, Judge David Herbert KC said: “There can only be one sentence in law, namely a life sentence, but the judge dealing with your case on that day will have to set the appropriate minimum term.

“In the meantime you will be remanded in custody.”

An inquest which opened shortly after the deaths was told the two children were believed to have been strangled.

The hearing was told a forensic post-mortem examination at Leicester Royal Infirmary concluded that all three died of asphyxiation, but at the opening of the inquests into their deaths, a coroner said that the medical cause of death for the children had been listed as strangulation, while Ms Ashok had died of asphyxia.

Ms Ashok, who was aged 35, worked as a nurse at Kettering General Hospital.