Police identifies Sri Lankan youth knifed to death in Liverpool
By Janaka Alahapperuma
Dec 2, 2011
Merseyside Police identified the Sri Lankan youth was stabbed to death in Huyton, Liverpool, UK as Appuhamillage A. Mahesh Wickramasinghe. He is from Madampe, Negambo and 30 years old at the time of his death. Mahesh has been stabbed by an unidentified person Tuesday night on 29 November around 9 pm while he was working in a shop.
British Foreign and Commonwealth office has informed to Sri Lanka High Commission in London regarding the Lankan youth’s death on Wednesday after he was identified as a Sri Lankan. He had been living in the UK for around 12 months but his immigration status was not revealed so far at the time of the death. However Sri Lankan High Commission sources said the victim is not an illegal immigrant and carries a valid visa to stay in the UK.
Merseyside Police in Liverpool is making further investigation to hunt the killer. Police said a young Sri Lankan was knifed in the neck during the attack as he worked. The victim was an employee at the shop, Stanley News and Wines on Kingsway, Huyton, a general store and off license, which is owned and managed by a Sri Lankan lawyer, Dr Gunapala Welgangama.
Detectives are now studying CCTV footage which shows the attacker, whose face was covered, running out of the shop and away from the scene. Police Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Darren Martland said at approximately 9.05pm on Tuesday night the Police received a call to a newsagent on Kingsway in Huyton. When they reached the crime scene they found the victim was collapsed inside the shop and died at Whiston Hospital a short time later. He had sustained horrific injury consistent with a stab wound to the upper body which sadly led to his loss of life, the officer added.
Merseyside Police said the motive for the murder remains unclear and they are keeping an open mind. Mr Martland said that they don't know what the motive for the attack was, all Police can say is that it was unprovoked and they have no idea why this individual was targeted. He said there was no indication of a robbery and the murder but may have been a botched robbery or a racially motivated killing. Earlier it was not being treated as a racially motivated attack. According to the CCTV footage, the killer was described as a stocky male who was wearing a dark tracksuit and had concealed his identity by covering his face.
However the shocked owner of the shop, although reluctant to say too much, said he did not believe it was a robbery and might have been racist. A comprehensive murder investigation was under way as police chased up a number of leads from the local community.
The scene remains cordoned off for forensic examination and police officers are carrying out house to house enquiries and high visibility patrols. Anyone with information should call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 8617 or Crime-Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
Source: Liverpool ECHO