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Fatal stabbing revealed depths of unhappiness which was kept quiet for honour

PUBLISHED: 17:26 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 02 March 2020

57-year-old Rajasingam Kumarathas lived on Burdock Close, Wymondham, with his wife Jeyamalar Kumarathas. Photo: Submitted

57-year-old Rajasingam Kumarathas lived on Burdock Close, Wymondham, with his wife Jeyamalar Kumarathas. Photo: Submitted

Archant

The killing of a father in front of his two children by his wife blew open 30 years of unhappy marriage which had largely been kept quiet due to the couple’s cultural background,

Police at the scene on Burdock Close in Wymondham where a 67-year-old man suffered stab wounds to the head and chest. Photo: Charlotte CaseyPolice at the scene on Burdock Close in Wymondham where a 67-year-old man suffered stab wounds to the head and chest. Photo: Charlotte Casey

Arguments, insults and verbal and physical abuse had been hallmarks of the "unhappy and volatile" relationship a Norwich Crown Court jury had have been told had been endured by Kumarathas Rajasingam and his wife Jeyamalar Kumarathas.

But despite the depth of hostility that existed between the couple it was not an unhappiness which was always widely apparent.

Some former colleagues and customers at the former Spar store the couple ran in Blackthorn Road, Wymondham had been aware of problems between the two of them but it was a contempt which was largely contained.

As the trial heard, both the victim and the defendant had spoken to the police about complaints they had with each other over the years.

Police at the scene on Burdock Close in Wymondham where a 67-year-old man suffered stab wounds to the head and chest. Photo: Charlotte CaseyPolice at the scene on Burdock Close in Wymondham where a 67-year-old man suffered stab wounds to the head and chest. Photo: Charlotte Casey

But there had been a reluctance to air those grievances publically.

Jurors heard from the couple's daughter Elaxana who said having the police involved was "not a good thing" as the family needed to keep things quiet for honour.

The pair had moved to Wymondham from London but both originally hail from Sri Lanka.

The defendant and her husband both spoke Tamil and their behaviour said much about their cultural background.

Family and friends of murder victim Kumarathas Rajasingam, and his wife, murder suspect Jeyamalar Kumarathas, leaving Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFamily and friends of murder victim Kumarathas Rajasingam, and his wife, murder suspect Jeyamalar Kumarathas, leaving Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Two pastors at the Tamil Church in Norwich, have told how their culture would compel them to keep it quiet.

The pastor, who did not want to be named, said: "They stick together and don't show problems to the public."

He said that Sri Lankan women would not go straight away to the police or other agencies.

The pastor said: "Even if they have a problem between them they still want to stay together, they don't want to separate.

A police car outside the house on Burdock Close, Wymondham. Photo: Victoria PertusaA police car outside the house on Burdock Close, Wymondham. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

"They don't want to talk to other people - it's not like English culture, you would not want your husband or wife to talk to other people.

"In Sri Lankan culture they don't think its right."

They said it was not that it would be difficult for them to go to the police and report things but it was because they would not want to.

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The pastor said: "If they go to the police its very bad for their culture and family.

"They keep the problem in themselves.

"In our culture, this is the way - they don't share things out.

"Domestic violence or whatever they don't share."

Burdock Close in Wymondham where a stabbing has taken place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBurdock Close in Wymondham where a stabbing has taken place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

They said that anything that happened would just be between "husband and wife" with not even children aware of what was happening.

They said couples could get divorced if they were having problems but "it was not usual to do that" particularly if the daughter was still not married.

The pastor said: "Once they get married they are married until they die.

"They think about their children, they don't think about themselves.

"They think about their children, especially if she's a girl.

"They wouldn't want to get divorced or anything as it would affect their daughter."

The pastors said that usually anything that happened would just be between "husband and wife" with not even children aware of what was happening.

Norwich Crown Court heard how the defendant had a "toxic" combination of alcohol dependency and delusional thoughts that the victim was having multiple affairs.

The pastor said it was "very unusual" that women from Sri Lanka drank a lot of alcohol aside from having wine if they were going to a party.

The pastors said the fact the couple had also run and worked in the former Spar shop in Blackthorn Road, Wymondham, would also have ramifications on their relationship as this would have been a big part of their lives.

He said: "The shop is the main thing I would say because they don't have time to go out - all the time they want to stay in the shop."

But despite the devastation that has been caused by the tragedy not only to the couple but their children and wider family, the pastors said it is likely there will be forgiveness shown.

The pastorsaid: "We always forgive people. We always want them to have their lives back to normal for a better life "


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