Old Bailey hears of double murder in Beckton

A husband stabbed his wife and her mother to death in Beckton during their divorce.

Sergei Zolotovsky first attacked Svetlana Zolotovska, 40, in a street, fatally stabbing her in the stomach and cutting her throat.

He then ran to their former marital home where he killed his 70-year-old former mother-in-law, Antonina Belska.

The Old Bailey heard the Latvian then retreated to the loft, where he started a fire and cut himself.

He made a second suicide attempt while in custody which has left him with “extensive paralysis”.

Zolotovsky, 44, is making legal history, becoming the first person brought to court on trial for murder from a hospital bed.

Zolotovsky, who spoke only to confirm his name, lay propped up in a hospital bed in the well of the court flanked by nurses.

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Jurors heard how he killed his wife as she walked to work through Beckton Park on August 12, 2010.

The accused then ran to the nearby former marital home in Leamouth Road where he killed Antonina Belska.

Zolotovsky planned the murders against a backdrop of ongoing divorce proceedings, said prosecutor Zoe Johnson.

Ms Johnson said the proceedings had been acrimonious and the defendant felt he had had lost everything.

“The evidence suggests he was paranoid and had convinced himself that his wife had been unfaithful to him.”

In a rambling letter found at his home, Zolotovsky is said to have ranted that she was a “sinner” who had “betrayed” him.

He knew his ex-wife’s route to work and in an angry frame of mind laid in wait for her, it is said.

He was armed with a large kitchen knife he had bought two days earlier.

Ms Johnson said Zolotovsky was not expected to give evidence or offer a defence to the charges, instead challenging the prosecution to prove his guilt.

Ms Zolotovska suffered 19 stab wounds, including a ten-inch cut across her throat.

After killing her, Zolotovsky is said to have told shocked onlookers: “Go away or I will kill you.”

He then smashed his way through patio doors using a plant pot at the Leamouth Road home before inflicting a near-identical attack on his second victim, the court heard.

He set fire to a duvet before crawling up into the loft and cowering behind the water tank, where he knifed himself and attempted to slit his own throat, it was said.

The defendant, of Lower Edmonton, north London, denies two counts of murder.

The trial continues.