Tube-push killer cleared of murder
Thursday 22 December 2011
A 35-year-old man who pushed a distinguished lawyer in front of a Tube train was today cleared of murder.
Senthooran Kanagasingham was undergoing sex-change treatment when he killed solicitor David Burgess at King's Cross station in London.
Kanagasingham, of Chichele Road, Cricklewood, north London, was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey.
He faces a long prison sentence after doctors said he no longer requires hospital treatment for paranoid schizophrenia.
The leading human rights and immigration lawyer was a cross-dresser who was known to his friends and family as Sonia.
She had befriended Kanagasingham, then known as Nina, and brought him to his GP just before the incident in October, last year, because she was worried about his mental state.
Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said shocked rush-hour commuters had seen Kanagasingham push Sonia from the back.
A note found in Kanagasingham's rucksack said he was "broke, depressed and suffering from gender dysphoria".
Mr Altman said divorced David Burgess had built "an enviable and brilliant reputation" as a solicitor in human rights and immigration law.
He said: "However, socially, the deceased lived as a woman and was known by friends and family as Sonia.
He said Sonia was "gender-variant". She had not wished to have surgery to become a woman, but to all intents and purposes outside her professional life, lived as a woman.
This was "accepted and embraced" by everyone, including his three children.
"A close friend states that physically Sonia presented as a good-looking, very slim, middle-aged woman," said Mr Altman.
"Sonia was caring and generous with her time. She was tolerant of others and she habitually helped others with their problems."
Kanagasingham had been going through gender reassignment and would identify as a transsexual. "It had been his desire to pass completely as a woman."
He met Sonia in a bar and was a frequent visitor to her Soho flat. But Sonia had been wary because she feared the effects of hormones prescribed to Nina.
"For the purposes of this trial, he wishes to be known by his birth name and his male gender," added Mr Altman.
Shortly before her death, Sonia told those close to her that Nina was becoming psychotic and was "imploding".
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