Wednesday 22 November 2017

Woman (33) and two young children die in apparent murder-suicide

The house in Woodgrange Close, Harrow, north London, where the bodies of a woman and two children were found in an apparent murder-suicide
The house in Woodgrange Close, Harrow, north London, where the bodies of a woman and two children were found in an apparent murder-suicide

Margaret Davis, David Mercer and Ellen Branagh

A woman and two children aged five and seven months have died in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

The 33-year-old woman and two boys were found at 5.20pm yesterday at their house in Brent, north-west London and pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives are treating the children's deaths as murder and believe that the woman's death is not suspicious. They are not looking for anyone else in connection with the killings.

Neighbours expressed their shock at what had happened and said arguing was often heard coming from the flat in Woodgrange Close.

Tashma Brown, 34, who lives next door, said the couple who lived at the address were Sakthivel Vageswaran and his wife Jeyavani Vageswaran.

She said: "She was a person you didn't see often. There was always shouting and arguing, three or four times in a month sometimes.

"Most of the time when they argued he would come outside to cool down."

Leslie Gotts, who has lived in Woodgrange Close for 18 years, said the family, who are believed to be of Sri Lankan origin, had lived in the first floor flat for about a year.

A neighbour had told him the children's father had found their bodies along with his wife's, he said.

Mr Gotts, 70, said: "I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. You freeze. It's a quiet road, a very mixed community.

"I think I only saw her once. She didn't look very unhappy to me."

A post-mortem examination on the woman was due to take place at Northwick Park Mortuary today, with further details relating to other post-mortem examinations yet to be announced.

Councillor Reg Colwill, who represents Kenton ward, said: "I think everybody is the same, they are shocked at what's happened.

"If it's accurate that the woman took her own life she must have been at her wits' end and didn't ask for help, or didn't get the help she asked for. It's two young children, it's very sad."

Ms Brown said she last heard the couple arguing the week before Christmas and also heard the woman getting upset on Tuesday or Wednesday about the baby crying in the house.

"She was shouting but it was in her own language. She sounded upset," Ms Brown said.

She added that she rarely saw the family outside.

"As a mum with a child, I would only see her when she came out with her kids. I would never see her with the kids in the park walking around."

Ms Brown added that she wants to move following the discovery of the bodies.

A spokesman for Brent council said: "The family were known to the council but it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst the police investigation is at such an early stage."

A post-mortem examination gave the woman's cause of death as compression of the neck, a Scotland Yard spokesman said tonight.

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out on the two children on Tuesday, he added.

Press Association

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