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Man, 41, responsible for mother's and sister's stabbing
Thursday 27th August, 2009

A 41-year-old man has today, Thursday 27 August 2009, been ordered to remain in a psychiatric hospital after a jury found he was responsible for the death of his sister and mother.

John Rao, born 09/10/67, of Greenwood Street, Standish, had been charged with the murder of Geeta and Leela Rao, but was deemed unfit to stand trial by a judge after he read evidence from three psychiatrists.

A Liverpool Crown Court jury found that Rao had carried out the act of stabbing his mother and sister and Rao was given an indefinite hospital order.

Geeta, aged 43, died at the time of the stabbing on Tuesday 19 February 2008, while Leela, age 73, died of pneumonia resulting from the stabbing months later in August 2008. She had been in hospital since the incident.

Rao had a history of mental illness and erratic behaviour and often argued with his sister and mother as a result.

Rao had earlier been to London in an attempt to get a travel visa but had failed. He sat brooding on the train back to Wigan and at that stage decided he was going to do his family some harm. He purchased the knife, which he later used to kill Geeta and Leela, and then went to Geeta's house.

At about 5.30pm on Tuesday 19 February 2008, Leela went to Geeta’s house on Collingwood Street, Wigan, and was surprised to see her son sitting in the lounge.

She sat down next to him and he explained that he had lost his keys and locked himself out of his house. He became aggressive.

The three of them had a drink and Rao seemed to calm down but a short time later he stabbed Geeta in the back and neck repeatedly while she was making another drink in the kitchen.

He then stabbed his mother in the neck before leaving the house.

Geeta’s two children, aged 12 and 16, were in the house at the time of the incident.

Geeta and Leela were taken to Wigan Royal Infirmary, where Geeta was rushed into surgery but died at about 10.20pm that night.

Leela was transferred to Hope Hospital where she was taken in for surgery for a damaged spinal chord. She was paralysed from the waist down as a result of the attack and lost the use of her legs. She died of pneumonia related to the stabbing in hospital on Monday 11 August 2008.

Rao was arrested a short time after the incident outside his home.

Senior Investigating Officer Vincent Chadwick said: “This is a tragic case which has devastated a whole family and left two children without a mother and grandmother. My thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”

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