Gangster who tried to cut off a man’s head with a sword in London attack dies in the street after ‘boozing at birthday party for one-year-old’

An infamous gangster who tried to behead someone with a sword while part of a violent East London gang has died after drinking enough whisky to put someone in a coma.

Sabesan Sivaneswaran, 34, choked on his own vomit on Bengal Road  in July last year after drinking whisky while celebrating the birthday of a one-year-old at a party in Ilford, an inquest heard.

He was part of a gang who wreaked havoc across East London and tried to murder a man in 2006 before they were jailed two years later.

Armed with swords, pick-axe handles and pieces of wood, four of the thugs attempted to behead the victim, who had only a cricket bat to defend himself. 

The man’s arm was severed to the bone, leaving his hand hanging by the wrist.

The gang of seven known as ‘The East Ham Boys’ were led by Senthurrajah Thavapalasingham – nicknamed ‘Psycho’ – and had travelled across London to target rival gang DMX, the Old Bailey heard at the time.   

Sivaneswaran was given a life sentence for attempted murder and ordered to serve at least eight years.

His imprisonment, along with the other caged thugs, saw criminal damage fall by 80 per cent in the East Ham area, and reports of anti-social behaviour were also down by 50 per cent. 

‘East Ham is no longer a “crime and disorder” hotspot,’ police said after the trial in 2008.

But 14 years later Sivaneswaran was found lying in the road outside a party, covered in sick and unable to breath. 

Moments before a friend recalled how Mr Sivaneswaran had spilt curry on his shirt and was dancing, in a statement read to the East London Coroner’s Court.

They said: ‘I noticed Sabesan could not hold his food plate because he was drunk. He tried drinking the water but he lost his balance and fell down. 

‘After about 30 to 35 minutes I went into the party because something kicked off. When I came back outside police were with him. 

‘I know he had been drinking whisky at the party.’

Police officers patrolling the area had found Sivaneswaran laying on Bengal Road with sick all over his face, shirt, and on the floor at 12.06am. 

Officers tried to clear his airways by scooping out vomit with their hands and a bandage. He was still breathing but fell unconscious at 12.21am.

London Ambulance Service arrived six minutes after the initial call was made. Paramedics took over CPR from the police when they arrived, giving chest compressions, drugs to stimulate the heart and advanced life support. 

Despite their efforts, they were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead at 1.30am.

The court heard evidence of Sivaneswaran’s mental health struggles and alcohol abuse which found his liver was already damaged by drinking. 

Coroner Nadia Persaud also ruled out third party involvement after CCTV caught a verbal altercation between him and a car driver in the hours before he died. 

Coroner Persaud said: ‘I am satisfied there was no evidence of foul play.’

‘The evidence suggests he choked on his own vomit,’ she said. 

After reviewing toxicology and pathology reports the coroner concluded Mr Sivaneswaran died from ‘aspirating gastric contents’ and ‘acute ethanol intoxication and alcohol related fatty liver disease’.

In a statement to the court, his family said: ‘He came to this country when he was 10 years old and he always stayed alone. 

He played football for his school and country. He always had a lovely smile.’ But they revealed he was admitted to a mental health hospital in 2017 and ‘did not recover well’. When he returned home in 2020 he was given a social worker.

‘The day he passed away and left his home he talked to his mum and said goodbye,’ they added. 

‘We were very shocked when he said goodbye. He did not know what issues he was facing with his mental illness.’