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Friends of Sheffield murder victim speak of their loss

Detective Constable Karen Cocker, holding a photograph of the late Mr Peiris with friends of the deceased, Kim Peech (left), Fabian Gonsal and Isura Herath (right).

Detective Constable Karen Cocker, holding a photograph of the late Mr Peiris with friends of the deceased, Kim Peech (left), Fabian Gonsal and Isura Herath (right).

Housemates of murdered delivery driver Thavisha Lakindu Peiris spoke today of their devastating loss and of how much they miss their friend.

Isura Herath and Fabian Gonsal both shared a house with Sri Lankan graduate Mr Peiris in Goddard Hall Road, Fir Vale, Sheffield.

Mr Gonsal, who is also from Sri Lanka originally, said he and Thavisha were friends from home and had moved to Sheffield together to study at Sheffield Hallam University.

He told The Star: “I miss him a lot.”

Mr Herath spoke after Thavisha’s killers Kasim Ahmed, aged 18, and his cousin Shamraze Khan, 26, were jailed for life and ordered to serve minimum terms of 23 and 24 years respectively.

He said: “I think justice has been served - they deserved everything they got.”

Mr Peiris was stabbed to death as he delivered a pizza in Southey Crescent last October.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Mr Peiris, aged 25, had been working long hours for Domino’s Pizza to try to pay back the money his father had spent sending him to England to educate him.

The judge, Mr Justice Coulson, said Thavisha’s death had ‘catastrophic’ financial as well as emotional consequences for his family.

He said Thavisha’s father Sarath had spent most of his £15,800 retirement fund sending his son to the UK to continue his studies, in the hope he would get a good job and be able to support his family in the future.

Sarath said: “Our future reserves have been spent educating Thavisha and now, at the age of 67, my wife being 59, we are suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure and have no household income.”

Mr Peiris’ brother said today the man who stabbed him to death was a ‘natural born killer’.

Pramod Chetheka Peiris said it was ‘shocking’ Ahmed was allowed out on bail given his criminal history, which began when he was just 14.

The court heard Ahmed always carried a knife and had a string of previous convictions for knifepoint robberies.

In 2010, aged just 14, he was convicted of possessing a cosh in public, and in 2011 he was given a detention and training order for attempted robbery.

In November 2012 he was convicted of two counts of possessing a knife in public and given a two-year detention and training order.

He breached the order in October 2013 but was released on bail just six days before the murder.

An hour before stabbing Mr Peiris to death he robbed two people at knifepoint in Sheffield city centre.

The court was told he’d had a troubled upbringing and had spent spells in care because his mother was a drug addict who was always in trouble with the police.

Mr Peiris said: “He was a natural born killer with a killer’s instinct and should never have been allowed out of prison.

“He was clearly a very dangerous man and should never have been released so he could kill normal people. It is shocking that he was allowed out on the streets to kill my brother.”

 

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