Lord of the Rings visual effects technician murdered parents following row about dog because they wouldn't treat animal 'as an equal'

Sergey Koudryavtsev, who has admitted killing his parents
Sergey Koudryavtsev, who has admitted killing his parents

A film technician who worked on the Lord of the Rings has been jailed for at least 26 years after he murdered his parents over a row about his dog because they wouldn't treat the animal as "equal to humans".

Sergey Koudryavtsev, 48, flew into a rage as he stabbed his mother Tatiana, 68, and father Vladimir, 69, at the family home in Kensington, west London, on May 20.

He was today jailed for a minimum for 26 years at the Old Bailey after he admitted the murders. 

Koudryavtsev, who worked as a visual effects technician, had argued with his parents over the care of his Neapolitan Mastiff, named Enzo, who he was said to be "obsessed" with.

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 family home in London 

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.

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.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard said Koudryavtsev's parents' lives "must have been very difficult indeed" in their final weeks.

DCI Rob Pack, from Scotland Yard, said: "This was a very sad case in which an elderly couple have been brutally murdered by their own son. Koudryavtsev's explanation for his acts of parricide is hard to comprehend and I am thankful such incidents are rare.