A pizza delivery driver about to start a new career was stabbed through the heart by two robbers trying to steal his mobile phone, a court heard.
University graduate Thavisha Lakindu Peiris was stabbed repeatedly while in his car as he made the final delivery of his shift on October 27 last year.
The “quiet, calm and gentle” 25-year-old, who had been persuaded to carry out a final delivery before finishing his shift, moved from Sri Lanka in November 2011 to study economic engineering at Sheffield Hallam University.
He was about to start a new career in IT technology before he was stabbed to death in Sheffield, a jury was told.
Shamraze Khan, 26, of Southey Crescent, Sheffield, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday charged with his murder, while Kasim Ahmed, 18, from the Darnall area of Shefield, has already pleaded guilty to the charge.
Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said it was a ‘joint enterprise’ motivated by robbery.
The jury heard that barely an hour before the pair left Mr Pereis in a pool of blood at the wheel of his car as they attempted to take his mobile phone, they robbed a young couple in Sheffield city centre.
Both Ahmed and Khan accept being responsible for that knifepoint robbery in which mobile phones were also stolen.
Mr Smith said: “Thavisha was chosen as a target for robbery by Khan and Ahmed, just as they had selected the couple only an hour or so beforehand. The mobile phone had clearly been their target.”
He added: “Regardless of which defendant was actually responsible for inflicting the fatal stab wound [on the victim], they were both jointly involved in the attack and each is guilty of the offence of murder.”
The court heard the pizza delivery driver had pulled up to deliver an order when he was fatally attacked. His phone was found in his car and had been yanked from its windscreen holder.
A post mortem examination revealed he had been stabbed once in his neck and three times in his chest, with the latter puncturing his heart.
The court heard there were stab wounds to his ribs, as well as superficial stab wounds to his face and hands.
Mr Smith told jurors two gloves with Mr Pereis’s blood on were found in Khan’s home, while Khan’s palm print was also found on the roof of Thavisha’s car.
The court heard that Mr Pereis worked until 7am on the day of his death and returned to start another shift later that evening. At 8.40pm, Thavisha asked if he could go home because he was tired.
But his manager asked him if he would take one more order in the Southey Green part of Sheffield as well as one other order. He left the pizza outlet at 9.50pm, the court heard.
Thavisha’s dead body was eventually discovered by a colleague. “He opened the passenger door and touched Thavisha’s arm, but he didn’t move,” said Mr Smith. “At that point he noticed there was blood on Thavisha’s shirt and blood in the car.”
Following the killing both defendants went to the home of Ahmed’s father, and alluded to family members that something serious had happened, but did not reveal what it was, the court heard.
Three days later, Ahmed was discovered by police in a storage area in his girlfriend’s house and Khan discovered hiding in the loft of his parents’ house.
Ahmed has already admitted two counts of robbery, which Khan also admits. The trial continues.