Trio jailed after man is murdered and left to die next to a pond in Milton Keynes

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A man and a teenage boy have both been sentenced to life imprisonment of the murder of Suren Sivananthan in Milton Keynes.

Gnanachandran Balachandran, 38, of The Fleet, Springfield, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, were sentenced on Friday (September 15) at Luton Crown Court.

They both had been found guilty of murder by a jury following a seven-week trial at Luton Crown Court which concluded on August 24.

Balachandran was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years. The youth was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years.

A third man, 24-year-old Prashanth Thevarasa of Farrier Place, Downs Barn, who was found guilty of one count of Section 18 grievous bodily harm with intent, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The court heard how in January 2017 the victim, 32-year-old Suren Sivananthan, a Sri Lankan national living in Canada, visited the UK to see a female friend whom he knew from school in Sri Lanka.

During the afternoon of January 20 Suren and his friend went shopping in Milton Keynes. As they noticed the car of Gnanachandran Balachandran, the friend’s estranged husband, they parted ways. The woman gave Suren a spare mobile phone to keep in touch with him.

She later called Suren and went to find him. As she approached Suren and they were still talking on the phone, he told her not to stop as he had noticed Balachandran was following him.

Shortly afterwards, Balachandran and Thevarasa befriended Suren, who they did not know but they were aware of his relationship with his wife, and encouraged him to drink alcohol.

The pair subsequently took him to a number of locations throughout the evening including Favourite Chicken in Netherfield where Suren was assaulted in a nearby alleyway.

They then travelled to a home in Coffee Hall where they were joined by the teenage boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.

They travelled to the area near the Co-op store in Great Linford where Suren was further assaulted. Suren’s friend repeatedly tried to contact him via the mobile phone and became very concerned for his safety.

At 4am the following day Suren’s body, which displayed obvious signs of blunt force injuries, was discovered alone near the pond outside the Co-op store.

The defendants were charged with murder on January 24.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Glover said: “Suren was a healthy young man who travelled to the United Kingdom to meet a woman who he knew from his school days. They had recently got back in contact with each other and started a new and happy relationship.

“The events which followed were motivated by the jealousy of Balachandran, the estranged husband of the woman with whom Suren had started a relationship. The prolonged assault was appallingly brutal. The defendants convicted inflicted 87 injuries on his body - 36 on his head and neck - and left him cold and alone to die.

“Thames Valley Police officers along with the Crown Prosecution Service have worked together to ensure this serious crime has been resolved and I am grateful to everyone from the investigation and prosecution team for their efforts over the past eight months.

“I recognise that no sentence will ever bring Suren back for his family and friends. What I can only hope is that they will be able to take a small amount of comfort from knowing those responsible for Suren’s untimely death will be serving a significant amount of time in prison where they can reflect upon their actions.”