Newmarket father found four-year-old son’s body after wife’s suicide, inquest hears
A man returned home from work and found his wife had slit their four-year-old son’s throat and killed herself, an inquest has heard.
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Just days after the little boy had celebrated his birthday, Abhay Rao and his mother Snehashree Sudarshan, 28, were found dead at their home in Park Avenue, Newmarket, Suffolk on 26 April last year.
The boy’s father Ashok Rao, who is a technical account lead, attended their inquests in Ipswich on Monday.
In a statement, he said he arrived home at 5.50pm and found his wife and son dead.
Paul Shannon, a paramedic who attended the scene, said in a statement that Abhay was found in a pool of blood in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs.
Mrs Sudarshan, a customer service agent at Burger King, was discovered in the kitchen with a cut throat and a ligature around her neck.
Mr Shannon said: "Abhay’s father came home and found them both with their throats cut."
A birthday banner remained on the wall and a suicide note from Mrs Sudarshan was found on a shelf in the living room, the inquest heard.
Mr Rao said he was 33 and from Bangalore in India, Mr Shannon said, adding: "He said they had no other family or support in England."
Mr Rao was described as "shell-shocked" by another paramedic who said he was taken into the back of an ambulance to be supported.
Police officer Jonathan Burke said Mr Rao reported there was "blood everywhere in the house".
Neighbour Gillian Holmes told the inquest that the couple, who married in India in 2013, had lived at the house for about four years.
She said: "I came to know them as a happy little family.
"This would be general conversations about what they were doing for example if they had been swimming or gone to the park."
She said that on the day of the incident she heard Mr Rao say "she’s killed herself".
Ms Holmes said she asked Mr Rao where his son was, and that Mr Rao replied "he’s dead".
"Ashok kept saying ‘why my baby, why my boy’," said Ms Holmes. "He was pacing up and down while he said this.
"This has come as a big shock. I was unaware of any problems that the family may have had."
Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Millar said police found no evidence that any third party had been involved.
She said Mr Rao had left for work at 9.30am that day and it was "likely" that Abhay was killed by his mother soon after he ate his breakfast.
"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."
DCI Millar said she believed the letter showed Mrs Sudarshan felt lonely, had low self-esteem and felt there had been "adverse judgement by the Indian community".
Mrs Sudarshan had appeared upset after losing her wedding ring, work colleagues said.
Mr Rao told the inquest: "She was always happy with me."
Abhay’s medical cause of death as an incised wound to the neck in association with compression to the neck, a post-mortem examination recorded
Mrs Sudarshan’s medical cause of death was recorded as ligature compression of the neck in association with incised wounding of the neck.
Senior coroner Nigel Parsley concluded that Abhay was unlawfully killed and that Mrs Sudarshan died by suicide.
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