The Victorian Indian community was thrown into utmost shock and grief when earlier in 2022 (13 January), Poonam Sharma and her six years old daughter Vanessa were brutally killed by Poonam’s husband Prabhal at their own home in Mill Park.
Fortunately, their 10 years old daughter Angela managed to escape and survived.
Prabhal who was a taxi driver, also suffered self-inflicted wounds and was taken to hospital and kept under police guard, to be later charged with two counts of murder.
When the tragedy took place, some people who knew the couple had opined that the couple were having martial problems and were in the process of ‘separating’.
It was also mentioned to police that Prabhal had confided in some friends about his “drug addiction” problems to suggest that Prabhal was not in the right mental state when he killed Poonam and his daughter.
No one can be in the right mental state to kill someone. But in Prabhal’s case, the suggestion was that he perhaps suffered from ‘mental impairment’ because of his drug addiction and other issues.
Well, just nine months into the case, and after examination and report of the psychiatrist, it has become clear, Prabhal’s mental state at the time he committed the murders, was not ‘impaired’.
In other words, he might have been extremely angry and or upset with what was going in his life, but it would mean the report suggest Prabhal knew what he was doing.
Also read: Ageing Parents farewell their daughter Poonam, granddaughter Vanessa
As a result, Prabhal has pleaded guilty to the two murders this morning in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Prabhal, who appeared via video link from custody, when asked for his plea to the murders he said: “I plead guilty.”
This will come as a huge relief to the parents, relatives and friends of Poonam Sharma and help the start of a closure process in their lives.
Tragic murder of a loved one perhaps can never be closed, but the process which begins with honest plea of guilty, offers to lessen the pain albeit to a small extent.
Prabhal’s lawyer told the court that a report prepared by a psychiatrist who assessed the murderer would not support a defence on the grounds of mental impairment.
Prabhal and Poonam were brought together through an arranged marriage ceremony arranged by relatives in India. Soon after the wedding, the pair migrated to Australia to start their family.
Poonam Sharma’s elderly parents had come to Australia on an emergency visa to attend to the tragic death of their daughter and granddaughter.
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