Kettering Murder: Husband remains in custody: Next hearing on March 24: Here is what we know about repatriating bodies
Thursday 22 December 2022 7:50 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON Dec 22: The Keralite husband who is accused of murdering his wife and two children on 15th December in Kettering, has appeared at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Dec 21) over videolink from HM Prison Peterborough, where he has been remanded in custody since Monday at the order of the magistrates .
The case, the details of which are yet to unravel has shocked the entire Keralite community across the UK and has garnered wide spread interest both in the UK and in India, due to the severity and nature of the tragedy.
Saju Chelavalel, the accused, emerged on Monday for the first time since the alleged crime, dressed in a sombre grey jumper and glasses, for his videolink court appearance and is understood to have spoken through a Hindi interpreter only to confirm his identity during the preliminary hearing.
Saju, a native of Kerala’s Kannur district, is currently accused of the triple murder of his wife Anju (35) and their children Jeeva (6) and Janvi (4).
Prosecutor Rebecca Fairbairn has issued a likely timetable for the case, including a possible trial date next year. In addition, Judge David Herbert KC has also confirmed that the 52-year-old accused shall remain remanded in custody until his next hearing in February.
The judge has ordered a plea and trial preparation hearing, which will be held in the same court on March 24, 2023.
Repatriating mortal remains of the deceased
The bodies of Anju (35) and children Jeeva (6) and Janvi (4) remains in hospital. Although we have learnt of the several parallel efforts being made by various organisations to repatriate the bodies, we decided to carry out our own enquiries in the interest of the Keralite community in the UK.
Our news portal, made direct enquiries with the Indian High Commission in London, Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, Northants Police and NHS Trust in Kettering. This is what we have learnt and we will endeavour to keep our readers updated as we keep abreast with the latest developments.
The Indian High Commission in London is currently waiting for the formal procedures that are standard in such cases, to conclude to be able to begin their process for repatriation. Due to the circumstances of death, the release of the bodies are pending postmortem reports, police clearance reports (in this case) etc ; only after obtaining which will the High Commission be able to kickstart the repatriation process. The HCI in London are very keen to repatriate the bodies immediately and there will not be any delay once the formal procedures have completed and the relevant documents from the UK authorities are obtained. HCI especially wants to ensure a smooth repatriation adhering to the protocols of air travel rules that can vary as per the airline partner. Therefore in order to ensure that all goes smooth logistically, they require police to give the all clear which also involves obtaining a consent from the accused too.
We made contact with Kettering MP Philip Hollobone‘s office who replied to us immediately by advising us to make contacts with the relevant authorities such as the Police and the NHS authorities with whom the case is at present.
We made contacts with the NHS Trust in Kettering and straightaway received a reply and we were advised to make contacts with the Coroner’s office for an update and we are currently in touch with them.
We also made contacts with the Northants Police investigating team involved in this case and we are awaiting a reply and guidance from them on this matter in regards to obtaining the clearance.
We were also able to obtain details of the solicitor/representative for accused Saju Chelevel and this will help us keep the momentum in our efforts to help with the repatriation efforts.
High Commission in London has confirmed that they will meet the full costs for repatriating the bodies. However, our sources suggest that several community organisations across the UK are raising funds that will eventually go to the deceased’s family who are said to be living in an impoverished situation back in Kerala.
In the face of this unbelievable tragedy, it has been humbling to notice the coming together of the Keralite community in the UK, to support the bereaved family in Kerala and which deserves a mention as an acknowledgement of the empathy and kindness that is inspiring a mass effort to help get Anju and her children home fast, for one final time.
Viewing & Funeral
Information received from those community members who are actively helping with the repatriation process confirm that there will be a viewing of Anju and her children in the UK before their bodies are taken back home for the funeral rites.
We will keep the community updated on this matter until the bodies of Anju and her two children are repatriated to their hometown without delay.