Man gets life sentence for murder of Singaporean in Brisbane

He stabbed victim, whom he had planned to marry, 32 times and slit her throat in 2014

An Indian national was last Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by the Queensland Supreme Court in Brisbane, four years after killing Singaporean Meena Narayanan, a woman he had planned to marry.

Senthill Kumar Arumugam, now 36, pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Narayanan at a Brisbane hotel in 2014. He had stabbed the then 27-year-old woman 32 times and slit her throat before stabbing himself to make it appear as if it had been a suicide pact, ABC News reported.

The case was delayed for years as Arumugam underwent extensive mental health treatment. Psychiatrists accepted that he had genuine psychotic symptoms when in custody.

Ms Narayanan, who had been living in Australia on a student visa, met Arumugam through an arranged marriage website in November 2013.

The Straits Times reported in 2014 that she had moved to Brisbane two years earlier for a master's, and then an advanced master's degree in finance.

Prosecutor David Nardone told the court last Friday that the pair met in person in December 2013, and their families met in India the following February.

He said: "But the deceased expressed some reservations about the relationship and the evidence supports that she commenced another relationship with another man in Australia."


Singaporean Meena Narayanan met the accused through an arranged marriage website.

 

Arumugam, who had been working in South Africa, told an associate that he would kill himself if Ms Narayanan did not marry him, adding that if he could not have her, then nobody else would.

He believed that she was cheating on him.

The Indian national then attempted to purchase a gun but, after learning that he would not be able to take it to Australia, said that he would buy a knife on arrival, reported The Daily Mail Australia.

He travelled to Brisbane in March 2014 on a tourist visa and checked into a hotel room in Mount Gravatt.

The prosecution said "banging and screaming" came from the room after the pair met. Arumugam then called the reception and told the manager he was bleeding and his girlfriend was dead.

Justice David Boddice described it as a "horrendous act of violence". "When police arrived at the scene, they found you lying next to the deceased," he said, referring to Arumugam. "You admitted to stabbing her but falsely claimed to police that she had asked you to help her die."

The judge said the man had tried to claim that the duo had a "suicide pact".

To make his story more believable, Arumugam also stabbed himself, but medical evidence determined that he had carefully selected targets on his body which he knew would minimise risk to himself, reported The Daily Mail Australia.

Ms Narayanan's wounds evidenced frantic attempts to protect herself from what was a "frenzied attack", said Justice Boddice.

He said that the accused's motivation was anger and jealousy at Ms Narayanan's continuation of a relationship with someone else. Arumugam's planning of the attack was "meticulous" and "calculated", and he "knew exactly what he was doing", said the judge.

"The frenzied attack was ferocious. Your intent in taking the life of the deceased involved brutality beyond comprehension," he added.

Justice Boddice also said that Arumugam had exaggerated his symptoms in an unsuccessful attempt to rely on a mental health defence.

Arumugam will be eligible to apply for parole after serving 20 years of his life sentence in custody.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2018, with the headline 'Man gets life for murder of S'porean in Brisbane'. Print Edition | Subscribe