Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 19:25 UK

Man 'took own life' in courtroom

A man took his own life in a courtroom moments after being convicted of child cruelty, an inquest has ruled.

Anandakumar Ratnasabapathy took a fatal dose of crushed sleeping tablets he had hidden in a piece of paper, the jury at West London Coroner's Court said.

The 40-year-old of King's Hill Road, Northolt, west London, died in hospital less than two hours later.

The inquest heard Ratnasabapathy drank the cocktail on hearing the verdict at Isleworth Crown Court in June 2007.

He was found guilty of GBH with intent and cruelty towards a child.

Ratnasabapathy was originally convicted in July 2005 and sentenced to five years, but a retrial was ordered.

I've spoken to his sisters and they said he could not face the shame if he was convicted
Thurairajah Jayanthan

The jury foreman said: ""On hearing the guilty verdict, he was seen to pour a powder into a plastic water bottle then take a large drink from it."

The inquest heard it was a fatal dose of Diphenhydramine, equivalent to more than 60 tablets.

"He had made it known to many people such as his counsel and the interpreter, his suicidal intent, but it was not known by the court officials," the foreman said.

Speaking after the verdict, Thurairajah Jayanthan, 54, who was Mr Ratnasabapathy's neighbour in Sri Lanka 25 years ago, and now lives in Ilford, east London, said he had always denied the charges.

"I've spoken to his sisters and they said he could not face the shame if he was convicted. He thought there was nothing in this life for him," he said.

"I think he had a very bad time in prison, and didn't want to go back there."


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