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A Kiwi visual effects technician who worked for Weta Digital on the Lord of the Rings films has admitted brutally murdering his own parents in a row over the family dog.
Sergey Koudryavtsev, 48, is now facing the prospect of life in prison after flying into a rage and stabbing his mother Tatiana and father Vladimir to death at their London home — because he believed they were not caring for his beloved mastiff, Enzo.
Koudryavtsev, who has dual Russian and New Zealand citizenship, called the police to confess to the murders in May of this year, London's Old Bailey has heard.
Koudryavtsev worked for years for Weta Digital, providing special effects for Hollywood hits such as Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Lovely Bones and Avatar.
The court heard his 68-year-old mother was found stabbed to death in a bathtub and her husband was found in the bedroom.
Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC told the court: "At 6.29am on the morning of Thursday May 23, 2019, Surrey Police received a phone call from Sergey Koudryavtsev.
"He told the police operator that he'd called to 'surrender himself for murder'. He said he's killed two members of his family. He gave the address of the killing.
"Metropolitan Police officers arrived at 8am that morning. They had to break in. They found a woman lying dead in the bathtub. The bath was empty and she was fully clothed. She had been stabbed.
"They checked the bedroom and found a second body, that of a man. He had also been stabbed.
"The deceased was Tatiana Koudriavtsev, mother of the defendant, and Vladimir Koudriavtsev, his father."
The Sun reports that after he was arrested, Koudryavtsev told police he had been living with his wife in New Zealand but moved back in with his parents after they split up.
Prosecutor Paul Jarvis told the court: "He had taken his dog, Enzo, to live in their home.
"Issues had arisen between his parents and his dog.
"He clearly valued the dog and placed the dog on a par with the interests of his parents and he said for about three to four months because of the effects on the relationship he had been contemplating killing them.
"He went on to say that on the day in question he finally decided that he would do it and took the knife he had with him and killed his mother in the bathroom and father in the bedroom before leaving with the dog."
The Evening Standard reports that Koudryavtsev represented himself in court, telling the judge: "I believe I was in control when I did it."
Koudryavtsev said he had been imagining killing her parents for months and was "trying to turn off the rage."
Koudryavtsev added: "If you asked me the day before would I do it, I would say definitely not. But on the day I did it, I was fully conscious that was exactly what I was doing."
Koudryavtsev's guilty plea means he faces life in prison, with the possibility of a mandatory 30-year sentence.