A man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife by drugging her and then forcing a cobra to bite her.
Soraaj S. Kumar, 28, came up with an elaborate plan to murder Uthra, 25, take the family money and then marry another woman, a court in Kollam, India, heard.
But the plan did not work the first time he tried to pull it off and poor Uthra lay in bed for 52 days after recovering from a snakebite, according to the local outlet India today.
She still regained her health when Kumar gave her sleeping pills and made a cobra bite her – possibly by intentionally damaging the cobra.
Uthra’s mother found her daughter unconscious the next morning, May 7 last year, and she was taken to hospital where she unfortunately died.
The mother’s cause of death was laid down as a “snake bite” and it looked as if Kumar would get away with his horrible crime.
But Uthra’s father was suspicious that his daughter was bitten by a snake twice and he became even more skeptical when Kumar seemed unaffected by his wife’s death and began harassing her parents for her dowry.
The grieving parent told police he thought it may have been unpleasantly involved in his daughter’s death and Kumar was arrested on May 23.
Police investigated, found out both Kumar’s conspiracies, ran across a 1,000-page indictment and Kumar was found guilty on Monday.
Kumar had bought the snake from a snake handler, named only Suresh, for 10,000 rupees (£ 97).
The court finds that Kumar actually caused the snake to bite Uthra because experts said that only forced bites can leave 2.8 cm of wounds – unlike the usual 1.7 cm wounds left by naturally occurring bites.
Suresh was arrested on the same day as the killer, but it is unclear what he is being questioned about.
The prosecutor claimed that Kumar should receive the death penalty for his part in the “rare rare cases”.
While the judge agreed that the case was very rare, Kumar was instead given two life sentences and was sentenced to pay a fine of 500,000 rupees (4,899 pounds) on Wednesday.