Death sentence for Kotakethana double murder suspect | Daily News


 

Over 3,000 statements by 53 witnesses:

Death sentence for Kotakethana double murder suspect

The victim mother and daughter.
The victim mother and daughter.

The main accused in the gruesome double murder of a mother and daughter in Kotakethana, Kahawatte, in 2012 that sparked widespread outrage in the country was yesterday sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court.

The accused Lokugam Hewage Dharshana alias ‘Raju’ was found guilty for committing the murder of both mother and daughter after brutally hacking them with a knife in the night of January 31, 2012.

While handing out a 221-page judgment, High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi maintained that the prosecutors have proved the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt through circumstantial evidence.

The High Court Judge also observed that court found accused’s guilty beyond reasonable doubt after taking into consideration about 3000 statements given by the 53 prosecution witnesses in the case and thereby decided to impose death penalty.

In his judgment, High Court Judge stated that the severity of the cut wounds on the bodies of the two victims could be ascertained based on the bloodstains seen on the roof of the house where the murders were committed by the accused.

The Judge also stated that the DNA report submitted by Dr. Illeperuma has clearly mentioned that the biological material found in the body of deceased Nayana Nilmini matched with the brown stains spotted in the knife used for the murder by the accused.

The Judge noted that investigations officers had found victim Pilanagoda Kandage Nayana Nilmini’s body inside the deceased’s house and also they found her daughter’s body inside a rubber estate.

Delivering a lengthy verdict, the High court judge pointed out that the accused had brutally killed the mother and daughter by knife attack. The Judge also stressed that Judicial Medical officer had found 10 wounds on the victim mother Nayana’s body and 20 cutting wounds on victim daughter Kavindya’s body.

The prosecution had further listed 143 items in the case and Judge specially considered about a knife which was listed in production list due to that is the tool which used to kill the both deceased by the accused and it was identified by a prosecution witness while testifying before the court.

According to the investigations, the police had recovered a knife and deceased mother’s earrings inside the accused’s house.

The accused in his statement to police had given a clue that he had hidden those items between the bricks of his newly constructed house.

While testifying before the court, prosecution witness stated that the defendants always had a knife and its grip contained a small piece of wire. It’s specially is prosecution witness identified that knife before produce that knife which listed in production list to the court.

According to the evidence given by the Judicial Medical Officer, the judge stated that the knife wounds on the bodies of the deceased had been fatal and had been treated in a very inhuman manner.

The High Court Judge further notes that the attack had been carried out, with the intention of committing murder. Finally the High Court Judge queried whether he has anything to say why judgment of death sentence should not be pronounced against the accused.

In reply, the accused denied allegations that he committed the murder and alleged that CID fabricated a case against him.

The Attorney General had filed indictment under section 296 of penal code against Lokugam Hewage Darshana alias ‘Raju’ for committing murder of 52-year-old Nayana Nilmini and her 17-year-old daughter Kavindya Chathurangi.

At a previous occasion, Colombo High Court had ordered the acquittal and release of the second accused Ashoka Chandani Kumari alias ‘Batti’ in connection with the murder, due to the lack of evidence against her.

Senior State Counsel Lakmali Karunanayake appeared on behalf of the Attorney General and President Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne appeared for defence.

 


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