Kochi: A court here has sentenced a woman to life imprisonment for killing her husband to live with another man whom she had struck a friendship over phone. Kocheriyil Sajitha (39) of Manakkakadavu, Thengode in Kakkanad was found guilty of murdering her husband Paul Varghese (42). Sajitha was close to Tisson Kuruvila of Pambadikandathil in Pambadi and had carried out the crime to live with him. Though Tisson was the second accused in the case, he was let off owing to lack of evidence.
The incident relating to the case took place on February 22, 2011. Sajitha gave her husband supper laced with sleeping pills and after he slept strangulated him with a towel and pressed a pillow against his face to kill him. After Paul died, Sajitha called relatives and said that he had hanged himself.
Paul’s body was taken to a private hospital in Aluva with the help of neighbours. However, when the postmortem revealed that hanging was not the cause of Paul’s death, Sajitha was arrested. The phone calls between Sajitha and Tisson and their contradictory statements helped police solve the crime.
Sajitha’s two children aged 8 and 4 were in the house when the murder took place. The case was investigated by the then Thrikkakara CI Byju Paulose and the charge sheet was filed by DySP V K Sanil Kumar. The judgment was delivered by Paravur additional district and sessions court judge Ahammed Koya.
The court found that Sajitha had tried to destroy evidence and make the murder look like a suicide case. The judge allowed Sajitha’s plea to shift her from Viyyur central jail to Thiruvananthapuram central jail.
Sajitha planned to give sleeping pills in food to her husband after their children had slept in another room. But the amount of pills was not sufficient to kill Paul. Following which, she strangulated him with the help of her lover, according to the police. A towel and a pillow were used to choke Paul to death. Tisson left soon after and Sajitha alerted relatives, said the police.
Pineapple as gift
The police found that Sajitha had presented Tisson with a pineapple from her house premises when he left after the murder. This was revealed to the police by Sajitha. Based on this statement, the police had made Tisson an accused. However, enough evidence could not be produced before the court in this regard and Tisson was exonerated.
How they met
Sajitha and Tisson met after an advertisement was placed for the marriage of a woman who was a relative of Sajitha’s husband. They formed a friendship which later turned into an affair. Tisson, who was working in the UK, began contacting Sajitha over phone frequently. After the affair started Sajitha wished to live with Tisson, but did not want to abandon her kids.
Tisson had asked Sajitha to join him in the UK and she felt that killing Paul was the only way to be with her lover as well as keep her kids. She planned to shift to the UK after the murder and decided to carry out the crime while Tisson was in Kerala.
Hit and run
The police learned that Tisson and Sajitha had earlier planned to eliminate Paul in a hit and run incident. They told the police that their premise was that if Paul was given sleeping pills along with his breakfast he would meet with an accident while riding his bike. However, the plan was abandoned as Tisson felt that Paul may only be seriously injured in such an accident.
Tisson planned to kill his wife too
Tisson also told the police that he also hatched a plan to kill his wife to live with Sajitha. He made preparations to murder her on the premises of Malampuzha Dam when she came to India from the UK. Incidentally, Tisson went to the UK on a family visa of his wife, who was a nurse there. Tisson worked as a salesman in a supermarket.
Contradictory statements by Sajitha to neighbours and relatives regarding Paul’s death gave rise to suspicion. She said that it was by hanging as well as due to natural causes. When the body was taken to a private hospital in Aluva, it was found that the death had occurred much earlier. Moreover, there were some marks on Paul’s neck and the hospital authorities called the police. An inquest was conducted followed by postmortem before Paul was laid to rest.
The police made enquiries with Sajitha and other relatives and kept her under watch. Meanwhile, the postmortem report which said that Paul’s death was a murder came out. Sajitha then told the police that Paul had hanged himself and that the rope used for the purpose was burned by her. The police found these statements suspicious and conducted a thorough probe, leading to the arrests of Sajitha and Tisson.
Sentencing Sajitha to life term, the court said that she alone was responsible for the murder that took place in her house.