Pump Court Chambers

James Newton-Price KC prosecutes triple murderer: life imprisonment with minimum of 40 years

News 4th July 2023

James Newton-Price KC prosecuted a triple murderer for killing his wife and two children. The Defendant, Saju Chelavalel, aged 52, killed his wife, aged 35, and his son, aged 6, and daughter, aged 4, in their home in Kettering on the night of 14-15 December 2022. He strangled his wife with a dressing gown cord after an argument then decided to kill himself and their two children. He claimed his wife had been unfaithful. An audio recording on the Defendant’s phone captured the moment that he strangled her and the distress of their children. He then prepared a toxic mixture of chocolate and sleeping pills for the children, but they would not take it. He subsequently strangled both his children. When police broke into the flat on the next day, he threatened to kill himself. Mr Newton-Price KC told the Court that there was no evidence that his wife had been unfaithful and that it was in fact the Defendant who had researched dating websites when his wife, a nurse, was at work. Mr Justice Pepperall imposed a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years at Northampton Crown Court.

The case has been widely reported in the national press, including The Times, The Guardian and BBC.

James Newton-Price KC is an extremely experienced criminal practitioner and is Head of the Criminal Team in Chambers. He sits as a Recorder in criminal trials on the Western Circuit. He also sits as a Legal Assessor for the Health & Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) and as a Legally Qualified Chair for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

For further information about James Newton Price KC’s practice, or to instruct him, please contact Tony Atkins, Senior Clerk or Tony George, Senior Criminal Clerk on 020 7353 0711 or via email: clerks@pumpcourtchambers.com.

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