‘He was my life’, wife of victim Suppiah Tharmaseelan describes loss
THE wife of a Birmingham shopkeeper brutally stabbed and left for dead during a robbery in his store has described how she has lost her ‘whole life’.
Sangeetha Tharmaseelan’s husband Suppiah died after being stabbed and beaten in his shop in College Road, Kingstanding in November last year.
Today a jury at Birmingham Crown Court convicted those responsible for his death.
Ian Meenan, 27, his twin bother, John Meenan, Liam Ryan, 19, and Anthony Mark Bayliss, 25, were all found guilty of murder.
James Moore, 25, was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of robbery.
All five had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to robbery.
Speaking after the verdict Sangeetha said her young children, who were in a room above the shop during the assault on their father, still suffer from nightmares almost a year after the killing.
“Suppiah was a hard working man and worked long hours to support his family,” she said in a statement.
“He was my rock and my life. My children cry at night and are afraid that these nasty people will come back for them. They close their eyes and the nightmare returns. I have lost my husband and my whole life, everything we worked for has been ripped to pieces and everyday I look at my children who look lost and ask why did this happen.”
Suppiah, a 48-year-old father of four, was attacked on the night of Saturday 27 November 2010 at his shop, the Select Convenience Store in College Road Kingstanding, formally known as Harish Supermarket.
It is believed the five men had been drinking in local pubs throughout the day and had decided to commit a robbery at the store, which was still open.
Inside, Suppiah and a member of staff were threatened and assaulted by the gang of five. Suppiah was punched, kicked and stabbed and tragically died as a result of his injuries.
The five men then stole a small amount of cigarettes, before escaping in a Renault Megane vehicle, which they later tried to burn out in Erdington.
Following a police investigation, codenamed Operation Skyblue, all five were arrested within a week of the murder. Later all five admitted to robbery but denied murdering Suppiah.
Det Ch Insp Sab Johal, who led the operation said: “Suppiah was a decent family man who worked hard to earn a living. He was well known and liked in the local community and had run the shop for five years. We welcome the sentences which reflect the brutality used by the group in their attack on him.”