Boy, 17, and man appear before court charged with murdering Domino’s delivery driver who was stabbed to death on his last shift before starting dream job
- Thavisha Peiris had asked to go home sick but was persuaded to take on extra deliveries
- Pizzas were his final delivery before he started job as an IT consultant
- Graduate found slumped over wheel of car with fatal stab wounds
- Two charged with murder will appear before magistrates in Sheffield
PUBLISHED: 08:30, 2 November 2013
Two people have been charged with the murder of Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, pictured
Two people have been charged with murdering Thavisha Peiris as he delivered his last pizza before starting his dream job as an IT consultant.
Shamraze Khan, 25, of Sheffield and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court today for a five-minute hearing.
The body of Mr Peiris, 25, was discovered in his car last Sunday night – he had suffered stab wounds.
On the night he died, Mr Peiris had been delivering his last pizza on his final shift as a Domino’s courier in Sheffield, a part-time job that had helped fund his studies.
Colleagues, who went to look for Mr Peiris when he failed to deliver his order, found his body slumped in his silver Toyota Yaris at around 10.30pm.
Khan and the youth were held in custody by magistrates before their next appearance at Sheffield Crown Court on November 15.
Tonight, around 60 of Mr Peiris’s friends and members of the Sheffield Sri Lankan community gathered for a vigil at his home in the Fir Vale area of Sheffield.
The terraced house was packed for the Buddhist ceremony. His friends said the hour-long vigil involved religious elements led by Buddhist leaders as well as food and tributes.
Speaking from their home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Mr Peiris’s family described him as the “most caring and loving son a parent could have”.
His father Sarath Mahinda Peiris and mother Vajira Peiris Narangoda 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.’
Mr Peiris’s older brother Pramod Chetheka Peiris said: ‘I am heartbroken. My brother Thavisha was the centre of our world.
‘He gave us so many reasons to smile. He was kind and considerate and we were extremely proud of his achievements.
‘We were so happy that he was doing so well in England.’
Mr Peiris came to the UK to finish an IT degree and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2011.
He had just secured a job as an IT consultant in the city.
His colleagues and police said he had been feeling unwell during his last shift and was going to go home early but agreed to deliver one last order.
Domino’s Pizza has said it was funding the cost of flying Mr Peiris’s family to the UK in the coming days.
Mr Peiris came from a hard-working family. His father, who worked for a petrochemical plant before his retirement and his mother, a housewife, saved hard for their children’s education and sent him to a well-regarded school in the Sri Lankan capital.
After studying IT, Mr Peiris moved to Britain in 2011 to do a ‘top-up’ course required to bring his qualifications up to degree level. He won a place at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating that year with a degree in information technology.
Shortly before his death, he had landed a job as an IT consultant and had been ‘excited’ about starting a career.
On the evening he died, he had told his bosses that he was feeling ill and asked to finish work early. However, he agreed to deliver one last pizza before going home and set off at 9.50pm. When he failed to deliver the order, his colleagues became concerned and set off to find him.
They spotted the company’s Toyota Yaris parked in a residents’ bay near the delivery address at 10.30pm, with Mr Peiris ‘slumped in his vehicle’.
Ravi Marripudi, the manager at Domino’s Pizza, said the branch had received a phone call chasing up the order 15 minutes after Mr Peiris had left to make the delivery. .
‘When another driver came back I sent him down and they found Thavisha,’ said Mr Marripudi.
Mr Peiris shared a house with other Sri Lankans. Hassan Natheer, 25, who lived with him, said: ‘He was a calm and kind person. He just worked hard and did what he was told to do.
‘He didn’t complain or demand anything. He loved the job and he was committed to his work, but he was ready for the next step in his life. We can’t believe he is not with us. We are trying to take it in.’
Sunil de Silva, a friend in Colombo, said: ‘This is so tragic, such a waste of a life. He went to the UK to study at personal cost to his family and to better himself through education.
‘It is so hard to believe that this has happened. He came from a lovely family and he was quiet and hard working, but also very bright with a funny side.’