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23 July 2014, 18:49
A man has been convicted of murdering a pizza delivery driver in Sheffield who was on his last shift before starting a career in IT.
Shamraze Khan, 25, and Kasim Ahmed, 18, killed Domino's Pizza employee Thavisha Lakindu Peiris after trying to rob his phone last October in Sheffield.
Khan, of Southey Crescent was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court following a two-week trial. Ahmed, of Ronans Road, Darnall, pleaded guilty to Mr Peiris' murder on the first day of the trial. Both men also admitted a robbery they committed earlier on the day of the murder in the Castle Markets area of Sheffield, just hours before trying to steal the IT graduate's phone, then murdering him.
Their victim was found slumped at the wheel of his Toyota Yaris at around 10.30pm on Southey Crescent, Southey on Sunday October 27. He had set out to make a delivery to that street and workmates went to look for him when he did not turn up. A post-mortem examination found he died from stab wounds.
The Sri Lanka-born victim, 25, who had graduated from Sheffield Hallam University after studying IT, initially took a job with Domino's to support his education. He had just successfully applied for a job as an IT consultant in the city and the fatal delivery was supposed to be his last. CCTV, forensic evidence and the public's help led police to the killers.
Detective superintendent Lisa Ray, who led the investigation, said: ''Thavisha was a bright, intelligent and caring man who had worked hard to develop his career in Sheffield. ''His murder was an absolute tragedy and has caused untold grief for his mother, father and brother and for his many friends in Sri Lanka and in Sheffield. ''Thavisha was career-minded, hard-working and a friendly young man who was very much planning his future. His brutal and shocking death at the hands of Khan and Ahmed was a completely senseless and inhuman act. ''I would like to praise the family for the way they have conducted themselves in an extremely dignified way and for the way they have supported the investigation. ''Whilst nothing can fill the void or replace the loss of Thavisha, I hope his family can take some comfort knowing that justice has been served.''
His family said in a statement: ''We are still devastated and heartbroken over the loss of Thavisha and we are still unable to comprehend that he is actually gone. ''He gave us so many reasons to smile and was so caring and loving. All we have left are our memories, but they will never fill the void in our hearts. He will never again be with us and we will never hear his voice again. ''We sent our son to the UK to study so he could have a better life; we never thought he would be in any danger. ``The way in which he was taken from us is absolutely devastating, we cannot understand why anyone would do this to another human being and it fills us with such sadness. ''We were extremely proud of Thavisha's achievements and we were so happy that he was doing so well in England. He was such a kind and considerate man, always full of life and always with a smile on his face, anyone who met him immediately liked him. ''We want to thank the police for all the work they have undertaken to bring those responsible for Thavisha's death before the courts. While it doesn't bring our beloved Thavisha back, we now have some form of solace knowing they will be held to account for what they have done and they will be going to prison. ''We would never want another family to go through such a tragic loss and endure the pain that we feel; Thavisha was the centre of our world and we will never get over losing him.''
The killers will be sentenced tomorrow.