A former Lord of the Rings visual effects technician has been jailed for 26 years after he admitted killing his parents at their home in west London after a row over his dog.
Sergey Koudryavtsev, 48, stabbed his 68-year-old mother, Tatiana Koudriavtseva, and 69-year-old father, Vladimir Koudriavtsev, at the family’s home in Appleford Road, Kensington, on 20 May.
Koudryavtsev, who has dual Russian and New Zealand nationality, said he killed his parents after an argument over the care of his mastiff dog, Enzo.
At the Old Bailey on Friday he was sentenced by the judge, Nicholas Hilliard QC, to life with a minimum term of 26 years after pleading guilty to the murders. Koudryavtsev, who represented himself in court, had been found fit to stand trial after psychiatric reports. Opening the facts of the case,
Anthony Orchard QC told how Koudryavtsev called the police three days after the killings, saying he wanted to “surrender himself for murder”.
Officers arrived at the home in Adair Tower and found Tatiana, a former university lecturer, dead in the bath fully clothed and her husband’s body in the bedroom. After Koudryavtsev’s arrest in Chiddingfold, Surrey, on 23 May, police seized a hunting knife and a combat knife from the flat. In a police interview, Koudryavtsev said he loved
Enzo more than his wife and had a strained relationship with his parents, who did not appreciate that dogs were “equal to humans”. The court was told Tatiana had degrees in chemistry and history of art, and Vladimir had a PhD in physics and maths and had been given just weeks to live after suffering from cancer and strokes.
The court heard Koudryavtsev had emigrated to New Zealand in 2002 and worked on visual effects for the Lord of the Rings films before moving back to East Horsley, Surrey, with his wife. While living in New Zealand he had got two dogs, Boris and Nikita, and when Boris became ill and had to be put down, he got a mastiff puppy, Enzo. When Nikita died, Koudryavtsev became “scary” to live with and blamed his wife for the death of his pet, the court was told, according to Guardian UK report.
Koudryavtsev, who was described as “exceptionally clever” but lacking in social skills, had moved back in with his parents with Enzo after the breakdown of his marriage. While living there he became “frustrated and angry” at them for leaving the window open while the dog had a tooth infection, Guardian UK reported.
The day before the killings, Tatiana told a friend her son had become abusive and obsessed with his dog, to the point where she could not open a window in case it got a cold. The next morning she told a friend at a pharmacy: “I’m scared to go home. I’m terrified of what he can do.” Koudryavtsev told the court he had practised martial arts with knives for the past 17 years and “fantasised” about killing his parents for up to four months.
He said he had taken his hunting knife and grabbed his mother by the head and stabbed her in the neck repeatedly, before stabbing his father twice. Hilliard said Koudryavtsev’s parents’ lives “must have been very difficult indeed” in their final weeks. The judge said: “A friend said the two of them were very much in love and very proud of you and your achievements.”
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