Movie technician must serve at least 26 years for killing parents

A former Lord Of The Rings visual effects technician has been jailed for at least 26 years for stabbing his parents to death after a row over his dog Enzo, a court has heard.

Sergey Koudryavtsev, 48, killed his mother Tatiana, 68, and father Vladimir, 69, at the family home on in their home, Appleford Road, Kensington, West London on May 20.

Former university lecturer Mrs Koudriavtseva and her husband were found dead three days later after the defendant called police.

The defendant, who has dual Russian and New Zealand nationality, had argued with his parents over the care of his Neapolitan Mastiff, who he was said to be “obsessed” with.

Sergey Koudryavtsev
Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Sergey Koudryavtsev, who has admitted killing his parents at their home in Kensington after a row over his dog Enzo (Metropolitan Police/PA).

At a hearing at the Old Bailey at which he represented himself, Koudryavtsev entered guilty pleas to the murders.

On Friday, he was sentenced by Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC to life with a minimum term of 26 years.

The court heard Koudryavtsev was born in Rostov in Russia and carved out a successful career in movies after completing a maths degree.

His credits included Blade, Resident Evil, Avatar, District 9 and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Opening the facts of the case, Anthony Orchard QC told how Koudryavtsev called police on May 23 saying he wanted to “surrender himself for murder”.

Officers arrived at the home in Adair Tower and found his mother dead in the bath fully clothed and his father’s body in the bedroom.

Mr Orchard said Mrs Koudriavtseva had degrees in chemistry and history of art and had been a university lecturer while Mr Koudriavtsev had a PhD in physics and maths and had been given just weeks to live having suffered from cancer and strokes.

Their son, who was described as “exceptionally clever” but lacking in social skills had moved back in with his parents after the breakdown of his marriage.

The court heard he 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, the defendant got a two dogs called Boris and Nikita and when Boris became ill and had to be put down, he got a Mastiff puppy Enzo.

When Nikita died, the defendant became “scary” to live with and blamed his wife for the death of his pet, the court heard.

He moved with Enzo back into his parent’s home but became “frustrated and angry” with his parents for leaving the window open while the dog had a tooth infection.

EPA
Koudryavtsev worked as a visual effects technician on the hit Lord of the Rings film series (EPA/PA).

The day before the killings, Mrs Koudriavtseva told a friend that her son had become abusive after two years living with her 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 called her friend at the pharmacy and said: “I’m scared to go home. I’m terrified what he can do.”

Upon his arrest in Chiddingford, Surrey on May 23, police seized two blades from the flat, a hunting and combat knife.

In a police interview, the defendant told how 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”.

He told how 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 walking into the bedroom and stabbing his father twice.

Afterwards he said he panicked about Enzo’s future and set about finding him a good home, which he refused to reveal to police.

Mr Orchard said: “When asked if it was fair to say he’s killed his parents over the dog, he stated that they’d had a difference of opinion and held different values as he never saw humans as more superior.”

The court heard Koudryavtsev killed his parents in a fit of “anger and rage”.

Judge 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.”

The defendant made no reaction as he was led from the dock.

Senior crown prosecutor Olcay Sapanoglu, said: “The tragic death of Tatiana and Vladimir Koudriavtsev was the result of pent-up anger and a three-month wish of Sergey Koudryavtsev to see his parents dead.

“While he lived rent-free with his parents, disagreements had been common, especially over differences of opinion about the superiority of humans over animals.

“This led to Koudryavtsev’s thoughts of violence as a way to remedy what he saw as injustices against his dog.

“He had been practising with a number of combat style knives found at the house, along with trying exercises such as martial arts, that he would eventually use to end the life of his parents.

“In stark contrast to his violent actions, he was concerned that the arrival of the police at the pub where he made the call may cause inconvenience.

“Most chilling of all perhaps is that Koudryavtsev admitted that fatally stabbing his parents felt natural.

“He will now spend 26 years in prison for his crimes”.

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