A much-loved Sheffield woman was stabbed to death in front of her mother in a frenzied attack by her ex-boyfriend on a Sheffield street.
Tapiwa Douglas Furusa has today been jailed for life for the killing of the 'outgoing and extremely kind' Leigh-Anne Mahachi.
He attacked her outside of her home address in Spotswood Close, Gleadless Valley, Sheffield as she left for work on the morning of Tuesday, April 12 this year.
Bank worker Leigh-Anne had left the house to go to work in the city centre when her mother heard screaming and shouting coming from outside.
She looked outside and saw Leigh-Anne’s ex-boyfriend, Furusa, knelt over her, lashing out at the top half of her body with a knife.
Leigh-Anne was taken to hospital but sadly died a short time later.
Furusa, aged 37 and of Leonard Place, Clarendon Way, Colchester appeared at Sheffield Crown Court today for sentencing, after pleading guilty to murder at an earlier hearing last month.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Ashmore, the senior investigating officer, said: “When Leigh-Anne’s mother ran out of the house, Furusa had left the area, and she was met with a truly horrific sight.
“I cannot quite put into words the devastating impact this has had on Leigh-Anne’s family.
"Her mother describes hearing her daughter taking her last breaths, something no parent should ever have to experience.”
Furusa fled the area following the attack and drove to Manchester where he later handed himself in, telling officers ‘I stabbed my girlfriend and I think she’s dead.’
DCI Ashmore added: “I am pleased that Furusa pleaded guilty so that Leigh-Anne’s friends and family did not have the ordeal of a trial.
“Furusa launched a senseless and incredibly violent attack on Leigh-Anne, who suffered between 30-40 stab wounds.
“She was a young girl with her whole life ahead of her and Furusa took that away in an unprovoked, selfish and frenzied attack.
“His actions on that day have also robbed a family, Leigh-Anne’s partner and her friends, of a lifetime of memories.”
Following the attack, members of the public, who told police they heard screaming and shouting that morning, ran to help Leigh-Anne, fetching blankets and towels to try and stop the bleeding as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
“I’d like to thank those who came to help Leigh-Anne and assisted until the ambulance arrived,” added DCI Ashmore.
“They showed incredible compassion in their actions and I’d like to thank them for what they did, and for waiting with Leigh-Anne and her mother until the ambulance arrived.”
Leigh-Anne's family issued a statement after the trial.
They said: “We are have been left utterly devastated by the loss of Leigh-Anne. Furusa has taken away a much-loved daughter, sister, niece and a friend from us. We should be making cherished memories with her right now and enjoying our life together as a family.
“Leigh-Anne was an outgoing and extremely kind young woman and we will miss her forever.
“We are all extremely grateful to the investigative team at South Yorkshire Police and for the successful prosecution they have brought against Furusa.
“Only now do we feel like we can start the full grieving process and we’d like to ask for privacy as we take time to digest everything, and remember Leigh-Anne as the happy, incredible person that she was.”
Furusa will serve a minimum of 26 years in prison.