Tamil Tigers fighter died 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

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 on December 21 last year following a seizure, St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard today.

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

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

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.

Mr Sivakumar’s wife, Thuvaginy, told the court that she knew her husband had suffered dizzy episodes in the past.

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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 recalled that the couple’s young daughter was at their Cricklwood home during school holidays on the day her father collapsed in the bathroom.

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

“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.”

After his death, pathologist Alan Bates confirmed there was a metal object in Mr Sivakumar’s brain which had a bullet-like shape but could have also been shrapnel.

Deputy Coroner Dr Gail 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.”

She continued: “His epilepsy [was] found to be directly related to his injury and the cause of that injury remains unknown.”