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Kerala woman, lover get over 20 years in jail for poisoning husband with cyanide in Australia

the judge while delivering the verdict said the guilty parties do not deserve any sympathy because the murder was a premeditated one.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 21:16 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala woman,cyanide,Australia
While Sofia Sam (33) was sentenced to 22 years in prison, her paramour – Arun Kamalasannan – received a jail term of 27 years. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An Australian court on Wednesday sentenced a Malayalee woman and her lover to over 20 years in prison for murdering her husband at their Epping home in October 2015.

While Sofia Sam (33) was sentenced to 22 years in prison, her lover – Arun Kamalasannan – received a jail term of 27 years. In February, the Victorian Supreme Court had found both of them guilty of fatally poisoning the victim – Sam Abraham – with cyanide-laced orange juice.

Delivering the verdict, Justice Coghlan said the guilty parties do not deserve any sympathy because the murder was a premeditated one. The judge noted that 36-year-old Arun – who met Sofia at a university in India – had “snuck into the family garage, gained entry through a window and sedated the family” to commit the crime. Also, the convicted wife seemed “least remorseful”, he added.

Australian police said 34-year-old Sam – an employee with the UAE Exchange – was found dead in the bedroom of their house on October 13, 2015. Soon afterwards, Sofia called up his relatives to say that he had died of cardiac arrest. She brought his body to Kerala and returned to Melbourne after performing his last rites.

Once she was back in Australia, Sofia began living in with Arun. A few of Sam’s friends grew suspicious and alerted the police, who decided to put the samples they had initially collected through a rigorous check. When the toxicology report showed an inordinate amount of cyanide in the victim’s liver and blood, they examined Sofia’s phone call details to zero in on a conspiracy. The two were arrested in August 2016, ten months after her husband’s murder.

According to prosecution lawyers, the duo had been planning to kill Sam for over a year. Arun had even tried to murder him at a railway station three months prior to the incident, they said.

The court rejected Arun’s claim that he was suffering from a mental illness.

According to Sam’s relatives, the couple had met in a Kottayam college. They tied the nuptial knot in 2008, after he landed a job in Dubai. Soon, the two migrated to Australia along with their seven-year-old son.

According to the victim’s friends, Sophie continued her relationship with Arun – who happened to be a former boyfriend – even after she was married with Sam. Later, he helped him migrate to Australia too.

Sam’s parents in Kollam welcomed the verdict. “We really grateful to God that the guilty have been punished,” said Mathew Abraham, his father.

Their son has been placed in the care of Sofia’s sister Sonia, who works as a nurse in Melbourne.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 15:28 IST