Kettering nurse's young children were strangled, inquest hears

Anju Ashok and her children Jeeva Saju, six, and Janvi Saju, four.
Credit: Family photos.
Anju Ashok and her children Jeeva Saju, six, and Janvi Saju, four. Credit: Family photos

A young brother and sister found seriously injured next to their mother just days before Christmas had been strangled to death, an inquest heard.

Six-year-old Jeeva Saju and his four-year-old sister Janvi Saju died after being found injured at their home in Northamptonshire on 15 December.

They were discovered alongside the body of their mother Anju Ashok, 35, in a flat in Petherton Court in Kettering.

Inquests into the three deaths were opened and adjourned at the Guildhall in Northampton on Thursday, in a hearing that lasted less than five minutes.

Northamptonshire's senior coroner Anne Pember was told Ms Ashok's cause of death was asphyxia, with more tests being carried out.

The court also heard her children both died at Kettering General Hospital on 15 December, with the provisional cause of death given as strangulation.

All three inquests were adjourned to 6 July.

Saju Chelavalel, 52 - the children's father and Ms Ashok's husband - has been charged with three counts of murder and will next appear at Northampton Crown Court on 24 March.

Ms Ashok had been working as a staff nurse at Kettering General Hospital since 2021.

Following her death, colleagues from the hospital visited the scene to lay flowers, describing Ms Ashok as "calm and collected", caring and hard-working.

Her friend Jismi Chacko said: "I know that she's gone from our side but she's not gone from our hearts. She will be there forever.

"We are all in real shock, and we can't imagine working without her. It's sad for us."

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