Pizza delivery driver murdered on final shift

Thavisha Lakindu Peiris was 'excited' about a job in IT. Picture: PA
Thavisha Lakindu Peiris was 'excited' about a job in IT. Picture: PA
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A PIZZA delivery driver was delivering his last-ever order before starting his dream job as an IT consultant when he was stabbed to death, his boss said.

Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, 25, was found slumped at the wheel of his car on Sunday evening in the Southey area of Sheffield.

His manager at the nearby branch of Domino’s Pizza, Ravi Marripudi, said Mr Peiris had not been feeling well that evening and he had agreed to make one last delivery before going home.

Mr Marripudi said he set off to take the pizza to Southey Crescent – about a mile from his base – at about 9:50pm. But 15 minutes later he received a call from the customer saying the order had not been delivered and there were voices outside.

The manager said he sent another driver to look for Mr Peiris and he found his colleague unconscious in his Toyota Yaris, in a residents’ parking bay near the delivery address. “It is so shocking,” Mr Marripudi said. “He was such a kind person. If someone had wanted money, he would not have fought. He would have handed it over. He was just a really nice person.

“He wasn’t feeling very well and he wanted to go home but he said he would deliver this last one.”

Mr Marripudi said four worried delivery drivers have decided to quit since the murder.

Mr Peiris came to the UK from Sri Lanka to study IT at Sheffield Hallam University. He graduated in 2011 and had started working at Domino’s to help fund his studies.

Mr Marripudi said: “He was very excited about his new job.” A 50-strong police team is now working on the murder inquiry.

The police officer leading the investigation, Detective Superintendant Lisa Ray, said she could not rule out any motive, including robbery, although she said a small amount of cash was still with Mr Peiris in the car, which did not have Domino’s livery.

The detective said: “Thavisha Lakindu Peiris was a bright, hard-working, intelligent and caring man who had worked hard to develop his career in Sheffield.

“His murder is an absolute tragedy and has caused untold grief for his mother, father and brother in Sri Lanka and for his many friends in Sri Lanka and in Sheffield.”

She added: “I need to hear from anyone who knows anything about his murder.”

Mr Peiris’s family was yesterday preparing to travel to South Yorkshire, police said.

Ms Ray said Mr Peiris suffered stab wounds to his chest and it was not entirely clear where he was when he was attacked. He was found sitting in the driver’s seat with both doors closed.

She said a number of people had been arrested following the death but all had now been eliminated from the inquiry.