Thursday 17 October 2019

Transsexual pushed 'generous friend' under train

Shenai Raif in London

A 35-year-old man who pushed a distinguished cross-dressing lawyer in front of a Tube train was jailed for life yesterday.

Senthooran Kanagasingham was undergoing sex-change treatment when he killed solicitor David Burgess at King's Cross station in London.

Kanagasingham, of Chichele Road, Cricklewood, north London, was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but cleared of murder, at the Old Bailey.

Doctors said Kanagasingham was back on medication and no longer required hospital treatment for paranoid schizophrenia.

Judge Stephen Kramer said Kanagasingham would have to serve a minimum of seven years.

He told Kanagasingham the solicitor had been "a really good and generous friend to you".

The victim, a leading human rights and immigration lawyer, was a cross-dresser who was known to her friends and family as Sonia.

She had befriended Kanagasingham, then known as Nina, and had taken him to a doctor an hour before the incident in October, last year, because she was worried about his mental state.

Brian Altman, prosecuting, said shocked rush-hour commuters had seen Kanagasingham push Sonia from the back.

A note found in Kanagasingham's rucksack said he was "broke, depressed and suffering from gender dysphoria".

Mr Altman said divorced David Burgess had built "an enviable and brilliant reputation" as a solicitor in human rights and immigration law.

Kanagasingham had been going through gender reassignment and would identify as a transsexual. "It had been his desire to pass completely as a woman."

He met Sonia in a bar and was a frequent visitor to her Soho flat. But Sonia had been wary because she feared the effects of hormones prescribed to Nina.

"For the purposes of this trial, he wishes to be known by his birth name and his male gender," added Mr Altman.

Shortly before her death, Sonia told those close to her that Nina was becoming psychotic and was "imploding".

Sonia's three grown-up children were in court to see the sentencing.

In a statement to the court, daughter Dechem said her father wanted to "push back the boundaries to allow individuals to be who they were as long as it did not hurt anyone".

Irish Independent

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