Friday 16 November 2018

'Every line resonated with me' - Kathleen Chada slams sentencing of man who tried to kill his four children

  • Kathleen Chada's two sons were killed by their father on July 29, 2013
  • Chada hits out at the Irish justice system following recent eight-year sentence a man received for attempting to murder his four children
  • Grieving mum describes sentence as 'absolutely insulting'
Kathleen Chada holds an angel with the names of her two sons Eoghan and Ruairi before leading a symbolic walk with friends and family members of murder victims in the Phoenix Park at the weekend. Photograph Moya Nolan
Kathleen Chada holds an angel with the names of her two sons Eoghan and Ruairi before leading a symbolic walk with friends and family members of murder victims in the Phoenix Park at the weekend. Photograph Moya Nolan

Ian Begley

A grieving mum whose two sons were killed by their father has hit out at the Irish justice system following the recent eight-year sentence a man received for attempting to murder his four children.

Kathleen Chada's world was shattered when her husband Sanjeev murdered their sons Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5) on July 29, 2013.

He killed the boys at Skehanagh Lower in Ballintubber, Co Mayo and their bodies were found in the boot of Chada’s car, which he had crashed near Westport.

Speaking with RTE Radio One’s Sean O’Rourke this morning, Ms Chada said the punishment for domestic abusers is far too lenient.

Her former husband received a double-life sentence for his crimes, but in accordance with Irish law he will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years.

But memories of the horrific day came flooding back following the eight-year jail sentence a dad received for attempting to murder his four children. 

On July 29, 2013, Kathleen Chada's two sons Eoghan (10) and Ruairí (5) were murdered by their father, Sanjeev Chada (inset)
On July 29, 2013, Kathleen Chada's two sons Eoghan (10) and Ruairí (5) were murdered by their father, Sanjeev Chada (inset)

The stay-at-home father, who cannot be named, previously admitted to four counts of attempted murder at his family home in the south-east of the country in June 2016.

"Every line [in the media reports] resonated with me because it was relatively similar to my own situation," she said. 

"He was a stay-at-home dad and there wasn’t any long-term issues in the relationship just like my own. 

"The judge set a sentence to 12 years and then brought it down to eight. And out of those eight years he’ll automatically get a quarter off, which brings it down to six. 

"He’s already been in prison for a year so in five years' time he’ll potentially be out and on the streets again. 

"The question is if he’ll be a danger to society, but it doesn't matter from my prospective. He’s a danger to his children and yet he’s going to be allowed out.... I think it’s an absolute insult."

Ms Chada also criticised the suspended sentence of Atilia Kerekes (44) last week, who violently beat his wife after she refused to have sex with him. 

"She had a protection order against him, but the judge said feelings were running high at the time and even gave him credit for his cooperation, for his employment record and for his guilty plea. 

"I have an issue with credit being given for a guilty plea because it means a perpetrator doesn’t have to face what they’ve done," she said.

Ms Chada is participating in the Safe Ireland, Safe World conference being held in Dublin today and tomorrow.

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