Tragic family 'seemed so happy'

A NEIGHBOUR who looked after Anupama and Jaya Chiti's orphaned son immediately after the tragedy said they were "a really lovely and genuine family".Diane Spalding, 37, who lives in Seckford Close, Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich, said yesterday : "The only reason I am speaking out is that I am very keen for them to come across as the lovely family they were.

A NEIGHBOUR who looked after Anupama and Jaya Chiti's orphaned son immediately after the tragedy said they were "a really lovely and genuine family".

Diane Spalding, 37, who lives in Seckford Close, Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich, said yesterday : "The only reason I am speaking out is that I am very keen for them to come across as the lovely family they were. Something obviously happened to flip Jaya. It is such a big waste."

Mrs Spalding, who lives with her husband Mark, also 37, and son David, 12, is five weeks pregnant and was clearly distressed by the events that unfolded on Sunday.

She cared for the Chiti's 11-year-old son Ani after police arrived in the early hours of the morning.

"My husband looked out of the window when he got up and saw a police car there but because of their professions we assumed it was work related in some way," she said.

"At that point there was only one police car. My husband went off to work and we had a knock at the door, as the lights were on. The police asked if we knew the lad and if it would be possible for him to come here for a while.

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"He was really dozy as he had just been woken up. He was very confused and did not know what was going on."

Mrs Spalding said that she was sure that Ani had not witnessed the attack on his mother but had been asleep, being tired after playing rugby.

She added: "I don't think he saw what happened. He said he just remembered going to bed at 9.30pm the night before, then being woken up by a policeman. He was finding it very difficult."

Ani, who was taken to her house at about 5.45am, was in "major shock" and police liaison officers were at the house from 9am. But he had said that his parents had not had a row.

"He asked where mum and dad were and I just avoided the questions," Mrs Spalding said.

"He was in tears but I think he was more in shock than anything. It was five or six hours before he was told the truth by police family liaison officers.

"His dad's cousin came to take him away. I think he took him to an address in the West Midlands.

"It is very easy for people to draw their own conclusions but there is nothing fundamental to suggest why this happened."

The Chitis had moved to their £300,000 four-bedroom detached home in Rushmere St Andrew in June last year and had socialised at home with the Spalding family.

Mrs Spalding said: "They were a very professional, very friendly, very approachable family and were quite laid back. This was totally out of character.

"We used to have meals and things together. They had no problems at all. They were full of life."

Mrs Chiti's job had brought them to Ipswich and she was the "main breadwinner" although Mrs Spalding said there were no professional jealousies between the pair.

She said she believed they arrived in England two or three years ago and Mr Chiti continued his studies when they arrived. His family owned a private hospital in southern India and Mr Chiti was expected to take up a job in the accident and emergency department at Ipswich Hospital this week.

Mrs Spalding said: "He was looking forward to starting his new job. He popped back to see his mum in India. They looked genuinely happy, and there was no sign of anything wrong in the last couple of days.

"There was no arguing, even when they moved in. Like all couples that move there is a little bit of stress. She was a bit concerned about him starting his new job.

"She probably used to be the main breadwinner but I don't think she would have been when he started his new job. It is not an easy profession to have.

"Ani used to be quite quiet until you got to know him a bit more. Pranau was louder and mischievous, like any two-year-old.

"We used to get on well with the children. Ani used to come out on his bike sometimes with my son but they didn't play in the street that often. He was more like a PlayStation child and into his books. He is very clever."

Mrs Spalding said that she and Mrs Chiti had become friends and got on well.

"We had lots of conversations about quite deep issues but there was nothing that she was ever concerned about at all. Her biggest concern was that Ani did not live near his school friends.

"She used to go running sometimes. She didn't have any other hobbies that I knew of.

"Jaya was a very nice man really. Both of them had got into the garden. They had never had a garden before as they lived in flats.

She said that Mr Chiti had been to India to visit his mother, who had a hip replacement, and had been away for a week until Thursday.

"She thought it was best for Jaya to go on his own and she did not want to take Ani out of school.

"They were Hindus but they weren't practising Hindus. Ani was born in India."

She said the boys had gone to India in July and August while the parents moved down to Ipswich from Nottingham, where Pranau was born. The couple was married in India and Mrs Spalding said she thought it was an arranged marriage.

She looked after the boys for some time over the Christmas holidays but usually they had a child minder and Ani would take the bus to The Abbey school in Woodbridge.

"They were happy with life and were doing the house up. There were no arguments with what they were doing with that. You can speculate but none of it seems to make sense."

She said that she last saw them on Friday when she waved to Mr Chiti and added that she thought that she and her husband were probably their "best friends in the village."

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