Sofia Sam is escorted to a prison van after being found guilty of murder.  Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Sofia Sam is escorted to a prison van after being found guilty of murder. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

Lovers guilty of cyanide murder

HELL-BENT on being together, a Melbourne wife and her lover resorted to murder.

The victim? Her husband. The method? Poisoning by cyanide.

Sofia Sam, 33, and Arun Kamalasanan, 35, have been found guilty of murdering Sam Abraham at the Epping family home in October 2015.

After nearly six days of deliberations, the Supreme Court jury delivered its verdict on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Abraham was found dead in his pyjamas and was initially thought to have suffered a heart attack.

But an autopsy revealed he died of cyanide poisoning and had a sedative in his system.

It sparked a long-running and at time covert police investigation, the details of which cannot be published in full.

Detectives used a long lens to spy on Sam and Kamalasanan for months after the death, watching them meet for lunch and run errands.

They also got hold of a secret diary Sam shared with Kamalasanan, illustrating their feelings.

Arun Kamalasanan and Sofia Sam  sedated Sam Abraham and poured cyanide-laced orange juice into his mouth as he slept.
Arun Kamalasanan and Sofia Sam sedated Sam Abraham and poured cyanide-laced orange juice into his mouth as he slept.

It was alleged the killers were having a secret affair, and this motivated the murder.

"Can you hold me tight? I want to drift away in your love," prosecutor Kerri Judd QC read from one of Sam's diary entries during the trial. "She is the best match for me - but what to do? I am sure that one day she will be mine," Kamalasan wrote, as read by Ms Judd.

It was alleged the pair sedated Mr Abraham and poured cyanide-laced orange juice into his mouth as he slept.

Sam Abraham, with Sofia Sam,  died a horrific death at the hands of his wife and her lover. .
Sam Abraham, with Sofia Sam, died a horrific death at the hands of his wife and her lover. .

"Putting liquid into your throat causes you to swallow," said medical witness Dr Michael Burke, detailing the automatic reflex people have when asleep. An alternative theory was that Sam prepared a cyanide-laced drink for Mr Abraham before he went to bed.

The jury was played the raw audio from the triple-zero call made on the morning of the victim's death.

A woman, believed to be Sam, can be heard wailing in the background as the operator delivers CPR instructions.

"We can't do the breaths now," a voice says.

"There is a lot of foam and blood coming out of his mouth. And he's biting his tongue." Sam and Kamalasanan denied the murder. But the jury decided they were both responsible.

The killers were charged independently, so one could have been found guilty of murder and the other not.

Undercover agents, doctors, toxicologists, paramedics, police and neighbours gave evidence during their trial.

Sam and Kamalasanan are due to face pre-sentence hearing on March 21.


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