Mom not criminally responsible for drowning girls, judge rules

May 20, 2008 03:53 PM
Peter Edwards
Staff Reporter

A Markham mother today was found not criminally responsible for drowning her two daughters as she believed she was saving them from a life of earthly misery.

"I find that the accused committed the acts," Justice Michael Brown ruled this afternoon in Newmarket court in the second-degree murder trial of Sivananthi Elango, 33.

"But ... she is not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder," the judge said.

Elango told psychiatrists that she drowned her daughters Renu, 2-1/2, and Movlika, 3 months, at supper time March 2, 2006, in the bathtub of their family home because she wanted to bring them with her to heaven.

Court heard that Elango slashed her wrists and throat and drank paint thinner and toilet bowl cleaner after drowning her girls.

"This is an unspeakably tragic case," the judge ruled today. "Words can't possibly convey the enormous loss ... of these two beautiful children."

The judge held Elango in custody so that she could have a hearing before the Ontario Review Board in the next 45 days.

The board has the power to determine if she should be held in custody or not.

Elango dropped her head and quietly sobbed while a half dozen family members stared straight ahead as the judge spoke.

"The reality is that no system of justice, no matter how perfect, can bring these two beautiful children back to life," the judge said.

"I wish it could."