A killer serving life for the murder of a pizza delivery driver in Sheffield has lost an appeal against his sentence.
Kasim Ahmed was ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars after admitting murdering 25-year-old Thavisha Peiris.
Ahmed, 18 and his 26-year-old cousin Shamraze Khan, who denied the offence but was found guilty, attacked Mr Peiris, 25, when he pulled up on Southey Crescent, Southey, in October 2013.
Mr Peiris, who was originally from Sri Lanka and had graduated from Sheffield Hallam University, bled to death.
Ahmed, of St Ronan’s Road, Sharrow, challenged his 23-year tariff, with his lawyers arguing it was ‘too long’ and claiming the sentencing judge had been wrong to class the case as ‘highly serious’ and claimed his troubled background had not been taken into account enough.
But his challenge was thrown out by top judges.
The court heard Ahmed, who had already served a prison sentence for robbery, went out armed and ‘intent on robbery’.
He and his cousin had forced two teenagers to hand over their mobile phones and cash earlier in the night and then targeted Mr Peiris when he stopped to ask for directions.
A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Peiris, who was working his last shift that night after landing his dream IT job, suffered 14 stab wounds, including one to his heart.
Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Jackson said: “This murder, which was committed with an intention to kill, was so serious that a reduction of the minimum term below 23 years would not have been appropriate.”
“It is sadly the case that defendants in many criminal matters have been brought up in dysfunctional homes and come from troubled families and there are occasions when the courts can take that into account in order to reduce their sentence. In this case, however, the judge took the view that, because of the gravity of the offending, it was not possible to make any reduction for personal mitigation.”