Hitchin man sentenced under Mental Health Act after fatal stabbing

Eswaran Sinnathurai was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court today. Picture: DANNY LOO

Eswaran Sinnathurai was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court today. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A man from Hitchin has been sentenced under the Mental Health Act today, after a psychotic episode saw him stab his former friend to death.

Eswaran Sinnathurai, 25, of Wilshere Crescent, was sentenced to a hospital order under S37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and to a restriction order (S41) under the same piece of legislation at St Albans Crown Court this morning.

He will be detained at Kneesworth House Hospital, where he has been admitted on a number of previous occasions, on the advice of three separate psychology experts.

A Section 37 order is a sentence with no fixed end date. A S41 order is a restriction order that means Sinnathurai will not be eligible for discharge from the hospital unless the Ministry of Justice or a tribunal allows it. Any discharge may also be subject to certain conditions that must be met.

Last August, Sinnathurai had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but not guilty to the murder of Katheeskaran Thavarasa, who was better known as Karan.

The court heard how Sinnathurai visited Karan's flat in Capswell Court on April 23 last year - despite the victim messaging to say he did not want Sinnathurai to come over.

Before visiting his friend's flat, Sinnathurai made a number of online searches concerning Jesus and the killing of a fake messiah.

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A number of nearby residents told police that they heard screaming and the sound of an argument at around 4am, before hearing a loud thud and silence.

Sinnathurai then dialed 999 after walking to Hitchin police station, a short distance from Capswell Court, proclaiming that he was Jesus and that he had killed 'his enemy, the fake messiah'.

Arriving at the scene, police discovered more than 80 stab wounds on Karan's face, neck and chest area. There was also an 8inch non-serrated blade, an upturned coffee table and a glass of milk left behind, supposedly by Sinnathurai.

Sinnathurai's previous convictions included a count of harrassment in 2014 and breaching a restraining order in 2014.

In his comments, Judge Michael Kay QC said: 'The events of April 23 were a terrible tragedy.

'His psychosis led him [Sinnathurai] to believe that he was Jesus and he had to kill a fake messiah.

'The victim was known to him and there is no suggestion that there was any motive behind the killing.

'From what the separate experts have said, it's clear that the defendant's paranoid schizophrenia was the main reason for this tragic incident.

'The three expert reports before me are unanimous. It is appropriate for the defendant to be detained in hospital and for me to make a restriction order to protect the public.'

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