The heartbroken family of murdered takeaway driver Thavisha Lakindu Peiris said today they have been left with ‘nothing but broken hearts’ – as his killers were jailed for life.
‘Habitual street robber’ and knifeman Kasim Ahmed, 18, below left, must serve 23 years in prison while his accomplice Shamraze Khan, 26, was given a minimum term of 24 years.
The pair, of Southey Crescent, Southey, were jailed by Mr Justice Coulson at Sheffield Crown Court for killing the gentle, hard-working 25-year-old Sri Lankan who had moved to England to pursue his dream career in IT and find a better life.
Mr Peiris, who was working for Domino’s Pizza, was targeted as he made a delivery to the street on October 27 last year, in a botched robbery which left him with 14 knife wounds.
Yesterday Mr Peiris’ heartbroken family in Sri Lanka was informed of the jail terms by police family liaison officers, during an internet video call.
In a victim impact statement Thavisha’s father Saraf said: “Thavisha was one of the most caring and loving sons a parent could have.
“He was full of life and always had a smile on his face.
“Anyone who met him immediately liked him. He was bright, intelligent, hard-working and energetic.
“We are now left with nothing but broken hearts.”
Mr Justice Coulson said Ahmed, who was just 17 at the time of the murder, had a history of committing knifepoint street robberies which was ‘truly terrible for someone so young’ and was on bail for a previous robbery at the time.
He described him as a ‘dangerous man’ and ‘habitual street robber’ who always carried a knife, adding: “It is not fanciful to conclude that, in the light of your criminal history, this was a murder that was waiting to happen.”
He described Mr Peiris as an ‘exceptionally pleasant and likeable young man who worked hard and had a solid future in front of him as a software engineer’.
The judge told Ahmed: “It was that future you took away from him.”
Mr Justice Coulson said Ahmed’s older cousin and sidekick Shamraze Khan, who was married with four children, played a secondary role in the murder but failed to prevent it, adding: “You should have steered him away from serious criminal activity or had nothing to do with it. Instead you became his willing partner.”
He said an hour before killing the Sheffield Hallam University graduate, Khan and Ahmed robbed a young couple of their mobile phones at knifepoint in Sheffield city centre.