Wednesday 25 April 2018

'How can someone hide something like that?' - mum found email a month after husband killed their two sons

'How can someone hide something like that?' - Kathleen Chada describes how she discovered an email from husband Sanjeev in her son's email inbox

Tragic loss: Kathleen Chada with a picture of her sons Ruairí and Eoghan. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Tragic loss: Kathleen Chada with a picture of her sons Ruairí and Eoghan. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Kathleen is trying to rebuild her life
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

The mother of two young boys who were killed by their father has described the shock at finding an email which indicated a plan to take the lives of each of the family-of-four.

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

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

Speaking to RTÉ's Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Kathleen today described how she discovered an email from Sanjeev in her son's email inbox.

The couple had created an email account for both their children when they were born to which they would send photos and memories.

Kathleen said she was looking through the inbox about a month after her sons' deaths, when she saw the letter from her husband which had been written a year and a half previous.

Kathleen is trying to rebuild her life
Kathleen is trying to rebuild her life

"About a month after losing the boys I was looking through some emails... in Eoghan's there was an email and it was effectively a suicide note in which he had planned to take the four of us," Kathleen said.

"And that would have been written about a year and a half before he took the boys, and a year before he was found out [Sanjeev had embezzled €60,000 from a community centre to pay debts for his online trading].

"I've had four years of seeing a psychologist to try and understand how someone can hide that, how can someone hide something like that.

"As I say I lived with him, I slept next to him every night. And these were the thoughts that were going through his mind."

Eoghan and Ruairi Chada
Eoghan and Ruairi Chada

Kathleen said she would have considered Sanjeev to be "one of the most honest people I had ever known."

"He had a good standing in the community, he was very involved in the centre with the local GAA.

"[When I found out about the embezzlement] I was in shock, but we talked about it.

"He disappeared that first day for a couple of hours, I was in contact with him on the phone, but I did worry that he had gone.

"I was cross, angry, upset, humiliated, a range of emotions.

"I don't think he ever explained [the boy's deaths].

"It turns out he had a gambling problem, hidden in the open with the stocks and shares he was trading.

"There was nothing to indicate there was a problem, our own personal finance weren't affected, I didn't see anything.

"I suppose the last thing I would have ever thought is that he would harm me or the boys.

"As much as it is a counter-indication that he did love them, I don't doubt that he loved them.

"His actions didn't show that, but he did."

 "I think it was shame. In his mind, he did not want Eoghan and Ruairi to know his true self, to lose that standing," she said.

"It doesn't seem good enough to say it was shame, I actually think it was as simple as that."

"I have had no contact with him. The only time I saw him in the last four and a half years was in court as I walked past him on the day of the trial.

"He said 'sorry' and they're the only words we've exchanged."

Kathleen is now involved in SAVE - Sentencing And Victim Equality - with a group of families who have been affected by murder.

"We would love others affected in this way to get in touch and come on board," she said.

"We're not rushing anything but we want some changes to sentencing.

"In my case, if the judge had been in a position to say 'serve the minimum of', it would just make life easier for me right now.

"I know after 10 years he can apply for parole. I don't know if he will or not, but in another five years I have to get my head around that possibility.

"The parole board doesn't engage with the victims directly, they say the will endeavour to take account of the positions of any victims, but they don't have to do that.

"My fear is I will bump into him, from the beginning I thought that's a possibility, and I'll meet him at the grave."

She continued; "In Ireland life is between 14 and 17 years, I know life sentences continue because you're out on licence, not all life sentences are served in prisons. But I can't get early release from my sentence."

"[Things] do get more bearable because they have to, but I still have unbearable times, there are still times, and I'm open about the fact, that I wish I was not here, I don't consider myself to be suicidal, but many times I just wish I wasn't here.

"My name is still Kathleen Chada. Eoghan and Ruairi were Chada so that's why I hang onto that."

  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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