An 18-year-old man has admitted the murder of a young Sri Lankan student in Sheffield, days before the victim was to start his “dream” job as an IT consultant.
Kasim Ahmed faces life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Thavisha Peiris, 25, at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.
Mr Peiris, a former student at Sheffield Hallam University, had been on his last shift as a part-time Domino’s Pizza delivery driver on the night of his murder on 27 October 2013.
After he failed to make his final delivery, worried friends and co-workers began a search. He was later found slumped at the wheel of his Toyota Yaris in the Southey area of Sheffield.
Above: Thavisha Peiris’ killer Kasim Ahmed
Mr Peiris was stabbed repeatedly and had bled to death. The court was told that Kasim and his accomplice, 26-year-old Shamraze Khan, attacked Mr Peiris to steal his phone.
The two defendants had stolen two mobile phones in a knife attack in a different part of Sheffield earlier in the day.
Originally from Nawala, just outside the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, Mr Peiris came to the UK to complete an IT degree and graduated from Sheffield Hallam in 2011. He subsequently secured a job as an IT consultant in Sheffield and was due to begin work days after his murder.
His murder caused outrage both in the UK and Sri Lanka.
In a statement following the murder, Mr Peiris’ father Sarath Mahinda Peiris said: “We sent our son to the UK to study so he can have a better life. Now we are left with only a broken heart. We were devastated and shocked to hear of our son’s tragic end and we are still unable to comprehend that he is actually gone.
“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.”
The Peiris family had been planning to send Thavisha’s younger brother Pramod to study in Britain but have since abandoned that plan.