London

Ilford crossbow killing: April 2019 trial date set

Sana Muhammad
Image caption Sana Muhammad died in hospital on Monday

A man accused of shooting dead his heavily pregnant ex-wife with a crossbow may face trial next year.

Sana Muhammad 35, died on Monday after the attack in Ilford, east London. Her son was delivered safely.

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 50, formerly of Applegarth Drive, Ilford, has been charged with her murder.

During a hearing at the Old Bailey, the defendant, who has yet to enter a plea, was told a provisional trial date of 8 April 2019 had been set.

A plea hearing on 6 February was also scheduled.

Appearing via videolink, Mr Unmathallegadoo spoke only to confirm his name, age and British nationality when he appeared in court.

Mrs Muhammad, formerly known as Devi Unmathallegadoo, was eight months pregnant when she was attacked at her home in Applegarth Drive.

She was taken to hospital with an abdominal wound and pronounced dead at 11:00 GMT, less than four hours after the attack.

Her son was delivered by Caesarean section and "remains in a stable condition in a critical care unit", police said.

A trial would last two weeks, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told the court.

Image caption The Met Police said the newborn baby remains in hospital in a "stable condition"

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