herald

Friday 20 October 2017

'He has robbed Eoghan, Ruairi and I of everything... and left me with a double life sentence'

Kathleen Chada, mother of Eoghan and Ruairi who where murdered by their father Sanjeev Chada, outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after he was jailed for life. Picture credit:Mark Condren.
Kathleen Chada, mother of Eoghan and Ruairi who where murdered by their father Sanjeev Chada, outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after he was jailed for life. Picture credit:Mark Condren.
Kathleen Chada
Sanjeev Chada

THE mother of two little boys horrifically strangled by their father has said there is "no more joy" in her life.

Sanjeev Chada was handed down two life sentences yesterday for murdering his two sons Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5).

"He has robbed Eoghan, Ruairi and I of everything," their mother Kathleen said.

"He has left me to live a double life sentence every day with no chance of release in my lifetime," she added in a heart-wrenching victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing.

She described Chada's chilling actions as a "betrayal" of her sons' love for their father who had been "their hero".

"How can evil such as this have been hidden for so long in a seemingly loving father?" she asked.

Sanjeev Chada (44) of Ballinkillen, Bagnelstown, Co Carlow pleaded guilty to murdering his sons before trying to kill himself last year.

The court heard that he had admitted to gardai that he also planned to kill Kathleen but that he did not think he would be able to kill them all together and that she would have been too strong.

Chada was due to stand trial next month but the defence informed the prosecution in September that he intended to plead guilty to the murders.

The young boys' bodies were discovered in the boot of Chada's car on July 29 after it had crashed into a wall near Westport with him in the driver's seat.

Chada, who had ran up gambling debts, told his wife he was taking their sons bowling in Carlow, but instead drove to Mayo where he strangled the boys with a rope before trying kill himself.

The Central Criminal Court was told that Chada used €56,000 from a community centre fund to gamble on the stock market, though no formal garda complaint had been made against him.

Chada had borrowed from family and friends and the court was told he had racked up €500,000 in debt from gambling other people's money.

Brendan Grehan SC defending said his client had written a number of notes before he killed his sons and attempted to take his own life.

NOTES

"I could not let you bear the pain of being from a broken home. Mammy is getting rid of me and I could not leave you behind. I have so much to teach you but I could not do that if I was not with you.

"We will be together now in some way... in the most beautiful country, your mate and Daddy."

In another note to his wife he explained that the "pain they were going to witness was going to be too bad for them".

He asked his wife to he be buried with his children. Chada told gardai he planned to carry out the killings two days beforehand and went out to find a secluded spot. When asked by gardai why he killed his children, he said: "Because I love them so much." When asked what it was all about, he replied "money."

The then Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar carried out a post-mortem examination which showed the cause of death for Eoghan was asphyxia from ligature strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head.

Chada told gardai that he did not remember assaulting Eoghan, causing a fracture to his skull.

The cause of death for little Ruairi was asphyxiation from ligature strangulation.

He believed his marriage to his wife was at an end as a result of his fraud and wanted to spare his children from the pain of coming from a broken home. Mr Justice Paul Carney handed down two mandatory life sentences to run concurrently with each other.

hnews@herald.ie

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