KEY POINTS

  • The father admitted to attacking his two children with a knife
  • The prosecutor told the court that the man had delusional disorder
  • The court accepted his plea of manslaughter by the reason of diminished responsibility

A U.K. shopworker killed his 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter at their family home during lockdown, reported BBC. He told authorities that he had been depressed, and that some customers in the shop had "upset him."

Nadarajah Nithiyakumar, 41, admitted to attacking his son Nigish and daughter Pavinya with a knife on April 26. A court heard that he had originally planned to take his own life, but changed his mind, thinking it would "ruin the children's lives and they would go off the rails," reported The Guardian.

The children's mother, locally known as Nisa, was in the shower when the tragic incident took place. As soon as she found her two children severely injured, she called emergency services to their home on Aldborough Road North in Ilford, East London. She also alerted the police.

Pavinya was pronounced dead at the scene, and Nigish was rushed to a hospital in Whitechapel, London, but did not survive.

The father was taken to the hospital for treatment because he also had knife wounds. He was charged with killing the two children after he was released from the hospital.

depression The court heard that very experienced psychiatrists had unanimously agreed on the opinion that the accused suffered delusional disorder at the time of the offences. Photo: pixabay

Nithiyakumar, who had no previous history of violence, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter before Justice Cutts at the Old Bailey in London on Thursday. The prosecution accepted the plea. The children’s mother wept in court when she heard her husband’s admissions.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told the court that experienced psychiatrists had unanimously agreed that the accused suffered delusional disorder at the time of the crimes. His mental illness was "one from which he had suffered for some time, for the best part of 10 years, with very little indication and very little treatment," he added.

Atkinson also said that the court could not find any other explanation for Nithiyakumar's behavior "other than that which he accepted he did." It was in those circumstances, according to the prosecutor, that the court "took the view it is appropriate to accept the plea of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility."

Cutts adjourned the sentencing until Dec. 10. "I’m not going to sentence you today. I need further information from the doctors and to hear from them evidence in person before I can decide what the appropriate sentence should be," she said.

The court sent Nithiyakumar back to the medium secure mental health center in East London for treatment.