A TAMIL man accused of brutally murdering his flatmate at their home in Wealdstone has been found dead in his cell - a month before he was due to attend court.
Jastin Chandrakanthan, 31, was in Wormwood Scrubs awaiting his plea and case management hearing at the Old Bailey on April 26. He was found hanged early last Friday morning.
Mr Chandrakanthan faced one count of murder, after it was alleged he attacked and killed Urgarajan Swaminathan, also Tamil, after an argument at their flat above the RFC Xpress chicken shop, in Station Road, Wealdstone.
Mr Swaminathan, 34, was alive when paramedics found him just after 2am on January 13 this year, but died of severe head injuries 12 hours later.
It has been reported the fatal injuries were caused by an axe attack while the pair, plus friends and relatives from nearby flats, drank into the early hours.
Mr Chandrakanthan was arrested and charged just days after the murder and appeared before Hendon
Magistrates' Court on January 18, where he did not enter a plea.
A prison service spokesman said: "Staff attempted CPR and an ambulance was called but Mr Chandrakanthan was pronounced dead at 9.13am.
"As with all deaths in custody, there will be an investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman."
Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar (Lab), who is also a Tamil, said the case was impacting on the broader Tamil community.
He said: "People in the community regard this as a personal problem between them [the flatmates]. But it is obviously a worry among Tamils because the community is trying desperately hard to build a good name, and these kind of incidents reflect badly on all of us."