Globe and Mail

Mother accused of murder too ill to appear in court

Thursday, July 26, 2001
The Globe and Mail

The first court appearance by a widow charged with killing her two children has been delayed for five weeks because she is too ill to attend court.

A lawyer for 32-year-old Yaso Mahendran, who was found semi-conscious in the trunk of her car with the bodies of her children on July 16, told a justice of the peace in Ontario Court yesterday that "she is not well enough to be brought here today."

Ms. Mahendran is in an east Toronto hospital under police guard.

Lawyer Sidney Freedman, who with lawyer Michael McLachlan is acting for Ms. Mahendran, would not answer reporters' questions about Ms. Mahendran and whether he will be making an application seeking bail.

Because she faces charges of first-degree murder, any bail application would have to be made in Ontario Superior Court.

She still must make a routine appearance at the lower court Sept. 4, Ms. Freedman said. "She has to go through the regular procedure."

The bodies of five-year-old Shiyami and three-year-old Sageeve were found in a car parked in the family's driveway after relatives found a suicide note, funeral clothes and cheques settling the mother's affairs in the bedroom of her home in Scarborough.

Physical examination of the children's bodies last week did not yield a cause of death, and toxicology tests are being done. It could take four to eight weeks to obtain the results.

Relatives said Ms. Mahendran had been profoundly depressed since the death of her husband, Mahendran Thiyagarajah, in an industrial accident last fall.

In her suicide note, Ms. Mahendran wrote "I'm going crazy and there will be nobody to look after the kids," her cousin Tamesh Thankaraja said last week.

Half a dozen family members came to Ontario Court yesterday on the off chance that Ms. Mahendran would appear.

On the advice of Ms. Mahendran's lawyers, they refused to talk to reporters.

Copyright 2001 Globe Interactive, a division of Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc.