An angry father who disapproved of his daughter seeing a boy of a lower Sri Lankan caste has pleaded guilty to running them over with his van as they sat across from a Scarborough high school.
Selvanayagam Selladurai dragged the young couple five metres under his van until it crashed into a fence across from Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute, finally coming to a stop, an Ontario Superior Court judge was told Thursday.
One witness described the driver on that June 1, 2007 afternoon has having put his “pedal to the metal,” court heard.
Selladurai’s van also hit a third person, his son-in-law, Lenin Sandrasingam.
The then 43-year-old father yelled “yo” at his daughter’s injured boyfriend, Prashanna Anadarajah, 18, from his crashed van.
He got out of the vehicle and chased the teen, Crown prosecutor Eadit Rokach told Justice John McMahon.
He was heard by several witnesses yelling, “I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you,” Rokach said.
The injured boyfriend tried to escape, despite sustaining a broken ankle, but collapsed in front of the high school on Birchmount Rd. several blocks north of Sheppard Ave. E., according to an agreed statement of facts.
A teacher intervened to restrain Selladurai, but he kept trying to attack the boyfriend even when paramedics arrived, Rokach said.
His daughter, Anitha, sustained injuries to her head and shoulder. His son-in-law required the insertion of pins to fix his injured pelvic bone.
Selladurai was originally charged with three counts of attempted murder. On Thursday he stood beside his lawyer, Michael Engel, and pleaded guilty instead to three counts of aggravated assault.
He still faces dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and criminal negligence charges, but it is expected they will be withdrawn when he is sentenced.
Out on bail, he returns to court on Nov. 1 for sentencing, where psychiatric evidence will be discussed.
Selladurai’s daughter displeased him by dating Anadarajah because he was of a lower caste, Rokach said.
During this dispute, Anitha left home without informing her parents, so another daughter, Jenitha, started searching for her.
Jenitha and her husband, Sandrasingam, located the girl and her boyfriend across from the high school where she was a student about three days later. Jenitha phoned her dad and told him to come and speak to Anitha about their differences, court heard.
The father drove over and plowed the vehicle at her and her boyfriend, as well as his son-in-law.
His motive for attacking the son-in-law was not explained.