Suffolk

Newmarket deaths: Mum murdered son and killed herself days after his birthday

Flowers at Park Avenue, Newmarket
Image caption Abhay Rao and Snehashree Sudarshan died in a house on Park Avenue, Newmarket

A mother slit her four-year-old son's throat before killing herself, a coroner concluded.

Ashok Rao found the bodies of his wife, Snehashree Sudarshan, 28, and son Abhay Rao, lying in pools of blood at their home in Newmarket on 26 April 2019.

Decorations from Abhay's birthday, five days before, were still hanging on the walls, the inquest in Ipswich heard.

A note from Mrs Sudarshan suggested she was struggling but her exact motive may never be known, the inquest heard.

Suffolk's senior coroner Nigel Parsley concluded that Abhay was unlawfully killed and his mother died by suicide.

Paramedic Paul Shannon said in a statement: "Abhay's father came home and found them both with their throats cut."

A "shellshocked" Mr Rao told police "there was blood everywhere", said officer Jonathan Burke.

Neighbour Gillian Holmes said she knew the trio as a "happy little family".

Det Ch Insp Caroline Millar said she found no evidence of third-party involvement and said the case was "truly the saddest case I've ever had to investigate".

She said Mr Rao had left for work at 09:30 BST that day and it was "likely" that Abhay was killed by his mother soon after he ate his breakfast.

Image caption One neighbour described the family as a "happy little trio"

"The motive for these tragic events may never be known but the letter, I believe written by Snehashree, gives an indication of her state of mind," she said.

"She clearly loved her son but tragically was internalising a lot of her feelings."

Ms Millar said she believed the letter showed Mrs Sudarshan felt lonely, had low self-esteem and felt there had been "adverse judgment by the Indian community".

"I don't think anybody could have foreseen just how deep-rooted her feelings were," Ms Millar told the inquest.

A post-mortem examination recorded Abhay's cause of death as an incised wound to the neck in association with compression to the neck.

Mrs Sudarshan's cause of death was recorded as ligature compression of the neck in association with incised wounding of the neck.

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