Killer’s brother sent police abusive messages

Michael Rao outside Wigan Magistrates Court
Michael Rao outside Wigan Magistrates Court

THE brother of a convicted killer, who stabbed his elderly mum and sister to death, has admitted sending a barrage of abusive telephone messages to police.

Michael Vithal Rao, of Douglas House, Scholes, pleaded guilty to six counts of sending obscene and racist messages to officers at Wigan Police Station.

His brother John Rao is currently detained in a secure hospital after stabbing to death his 73-year-old mother Leela and sister Geeta, 43, in Collingwood Street, Standish, in February 2008.

At Wigan Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Rao was given a 12-week suspended sentence, a 12-month supervision order, and was told to pay £85 costs.

Dressed smartly, Rao, 41, held his head in his hands as the offences were read out.

The court heard that Rao’s brother, Vassal, had assaulted him on October 2 and 3.

John Hibbert, prosecuting, said the police team investigating the incident were off duty on November 20 and 21 but returned to work to find a series of expletive messages from Rao on their answer machines.

Five phone calls, from 1.30am to 3.15am on Saturday, November 20, gave Rao’s name and threatened to kill officers and his brother Vassal.

They were followed by another two messages left by Rao shortly after 11am which apologised for his actions.

However Rao left another abusive message in the early hours of Sunday, November 21, stating he wanted to “start a war on India and England”.

The court was told Rao had been drinking alcohol when he made the phone calls and was suffering with depression.

He had previously served a custodial sentence for racially related public order offences.

Patrick Heald, defending, asked magistrates to read a pre-sentence report outlining Rao’s family problems before considering his punishment.

Rao told magistrates he had now stopped drinking.

In August 2009, a judge ruled that Rao’s brother John, formerly of Greenwood Road, Standish, was unfit to stand trial for murder because of mental health problems.

Three psychiatrists confirmed that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

He was damned by his own mother Leela, a psychiatrist herself, who was able to give police a full account of what happened from her hospital bed in the months before she herself died from pneumonia linked to the injuries.

Before leaving court, Rao told magistrates he had now stopped drinking and had started counselling and psychiatric appointments.