Sofia Sam arrives in a prison van at the Supreme court in Melbourne where she has been sentenced for the murder of her husband Sam Abraham at his Epping home in October 2015. Monday, February 12. 2018. Picture: David Crosling
Sofia Sam arrives in a prison van at the Supreme court in Melbourne where she has been sentenced for the murder of her husband Sam Abraham at his Epping home in October 2015. Monday, February 12. 2018. Picture: David Crosling

Wife’s sick orange juice murder

SEDATED, fast asleep in bed beside his son and with no means of fighting back, Sam Abraham was at the mercy of his once-loving wife and her secret boyfriend.

Armed with a glass of orange juice and cyanide, Melbourne mum Sofia Sam and her lover Arun Kamalasanan put the finishing touches on an elaborate plot that ended when the deadly cocktail was poured down Mr Abraham's throat.

At first, it looked like the father-of-one's death inside the couple's Epping home, north of Melbourne, was caused by a heart attack. But an autopsy revealed the truth.

Ms Sam, 33, had been torn between two men - the man she moved half way across the world with and her 36-year-old lover. She chose the latter, kept a secret diary professing her love for him and devised the plan to make good on a promise to "sleep in your arms".

On Thursday, in the Victorian Supreme Court, Ms Sam and Mr Kamalasanan were sentenced for Mr Abraham's murder.

Ms Sam was jailed for 22 years with a minimum of 18 and Mr Kamalasanan was jailed for 27 years with a minimum of 23. The court heard Mr Kamalasanan had planned the murder for three years and poured the glass of juice that killed his lover's husband.

Sitting metres from one another inside a packed courtroom, the pair said nothing as the learned their fate.

 

Sofia Sam will spend at least 18 years in prison. Picture: David Crosling
Sofia Sam will spend at least 18 years in prison. Picture: David Crosling

 

'HIS DEATH WAS PROBABLY EXCRUCIATING'

Dressed in a grey suit jacket and wearing thick, black-rimmed glasses, Arum Kamalasanan was forced to listen as Justice Paul Coghlan read out grisly details of how the murder was carried out and what the pair did after the fact to conceal their involvement.

Justice Coghlan said the murder was premeditated and "probably excruciating" for the victim.

He said the 36-year-old who met Ms Sam at university in India "snuck into the family garage, gained entry through a window and sedated the family".

Inside an avocado smoothie Ms Sam had earlier prepared, Mr Kamalasanan poured a sedative. Ms Sam, Mr Abraham and the couple's son, now nine years old, drank it. 

When they were sleeping in the same bed, Mr Kamalasanan snuck into the bedroom and forced his victim to drink the orange juice laced with the chemical compound.

"This is a very serious example of murder. You were the friend of Mr Abraham," Justice Coghlan said.

He told the court Mr Kamalasanan had "attempted to fabricate a mental illness over a period of three years" as "part of a plan" to escape culpability if he was ever caught.

Justice Coghlan said Ms Sam, who wore black from head to toe and looked down for the majority of her sentencing, showed no remorse.

He said she was "well-educated" and a religious devotee but "it cannot be said you are remorseful".

Justice Coghlan admitted it was difficult to know conclusively what role Ms Sam played in the murder of her husband but "(your husband) could not have been murdered without your knowledge and acquiescence".

 

Arun Kamalasanan won’t be eligible for parole until at least 2041.
Arun Kamalasanan won’t be eligible for parole until at least 2041.

 

'I AM SURE ONE DAY SHE WILL BE MINE'

Days after Mr Abraham's murder, and with the autopsy results in hand, police moved slowly. They suspected Ms Sam and did not reveal to her the cause of her husband's death.

Instead, they surveilled her and Mr Kamalasanan. Inside his apartment, they found a diary that confirmed their suspicions of a romantic involvement between the two killers.

Inside Ms Sam's diary, which she gave to Ms Kamalasanan shortly after he arrived in Australia from India, she wrote: "We never know why we like someone more than others." The day after, she wrote: "I feel to hug you and comfort you."

On February 2, 2013, Ms Sam wrote: "I'm waiting for you."

Six days later in either Hindi or Malay, she wrote: "I wish to sleep in your arms … I want to be yours but you are not mine."

On February 17, she wrote, "Miss you a lot dear. Can you hold me tight" and "Hug me tight, hold me rude. I am here for you."

On March 8, she wrote: "Why I am made with rock heart? Why I am so cruel? Why I am so cunning? I - you make me do bad things. Why you made me bad."

On April 12, she wrote: "I feel proud to be yours. I just think, if you are with me, I can reach heights."

 

Sam Abraham with his wife, Sofia Sam, and their son, now 9.
Sam Abraham with his wife, Sofia Sam, and their son, now 9.

 

On July 10, Ms Sam wrote: "I feel like running and coming close to you, but my heart is helpless."

And on July 18, she wrote: "Planning is always needed in what we do" and then "an idea without a plan is no more than a dream."

On October 14, 2015, paramedics attended the couple's home and found Mr Abraham passed out in his pyjamas with foam coming from his mouth. They applied CPR but failed to revive him.

Before the pair's arrest in August 2016, undercover police saw the pair in one another's company but making efforts to "avoid being seen together".

Later, Ms Sam transferred ownership of Mr Abraham's car to Mr Kamalasanan and they opened joint bank accounts.

Mr Kamalasanan is likely to be deported at the conclusion of his sentence. Justice Coghlan said on Thursday he has a "reasonable" chance of rehabilitation.

Ms Sam is an Australian citizen but her immigration status will be determined at a later date. Her son visits her in prison at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Ravenhall and speaks to her by phone daily.

She will not be eligible for parole until at least 2036.


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