Cricklewood Tamil Tigers fighter dies from injuries sustained in shooting 10 years ago

Tamil Tiger soldier Ramachandiran Sivakumar had a bullet or shrapnel lodged in his head for more tha

Tamil Tiger soldier Ramachandiran Sivakumar had a bullet or shrapnel lodged in his head for more than 10 years - Credit: Archant

Ramachandaran Sivakumar lived with a bullet lodged in his head for more than a decade

A Tamil Tigers fighter who lived with a bullet lodged in his head for more than 10 years, died as a result of the injury, an inquest heard.

Father of one, Ramachandaran Sivakumar, 41, fell in his bathroom at his home in Melrose Avenue in Cricklewood on December 21, following a seizure.

He was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street where he died two days later.

Mr Sivakumar came to London in 2001 with his wife seeking political asylum.

Back in his native Sri Lanka, he had been fighting with the secessionist group the Tamil Tigers for 13 years and he was injured on the battle field by a bullet or shrapnel in his head.

The court heard that he developed epilepsy as a result.

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Mr Sivakumar’s wife, Thuvaginy told the court that she knew her husband had suffered dizzy episodes in the past. Speaking through a translator she said: “I hadn’t seen any but I was told by others, his mother told me and so did some of his work mates.

“He never openly told me because I would worry.”

She added that in Sri Lanka, he did not have access to the correct medicine.

Breaking into tears, Mrs Sivakumar told the court about the day her husband fell in the bathroom, recalling that their young daughter was home because it was the middle of the school holidays.

“He had to go work at 3pm so he went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth.

“Then a bit later he locked the door.

“Around 12 minutes later I heard he was falling down.

“There was no shout.

“I was screaming and shouted at my daughter to call an ambulance and I took a knife and tried to open the bathroom door,” she said.

After his death, pathologist Alan Bates confirmed that there was a metal object in Mr Sivakumar’s brain.

In a statement read out by deputy coroner Gail Elliman, he said: “The brain contains two foreign objects, one appears to be metallic and the other might be a bony object or other material.”

He added that the metal object had a bullet-like shape, but could have also been shrapnel.

Deputy Coroner Dr Elliman recorded a narrative verdict.

She said: “Ramachandaran Sivakumar suffered from epilepsy as a result of an injury which was most probably caused during fighting in Sri Lanka.

“On 21 December 2012, he was heard to collapse in the bathroom of his house.

“He was taken to the Royal Free Hospital where his death was confirmed at 23.50 on 23rd December, with his epilepsy found to be directly related to his injury and the cause of that injury remains unknown.”

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