A 19-year-old man has been charged with the murder of shopworker Mahesh Wickramasingha.

Mahesh was stabbed in the neck last December while working at Stanley News in Kingsway, Liverpool, and died of his injuries. Sam Harrison, who lives in nearby Huyton, gave himself up to local police several days after the incident. He was remanded in custody until a preliminary hearing, due to take place in early January.

Mahesh had moved to the UK from Sri Lanka less than six months ago and was sending money earned from working in the shop home to his family to support them.

Store owner Gunapala Welhangama had organised a collection box to help Mahesh’s family in Sri Lanka, however this was stolen by thieves. Two youths entered the store and while one distracted Gunapala, the other snatched the collection box, which had been full thanks to generous customers.

Gunapala blasted the thieves as despicable. “How low can people go?” he said. “Mahesh was killed in cold blood just weeks ago and to have this happen is the ultimate insult.”