A man found guilty of the stabbing murder of a fellow Sri Lankan refugee in Adelaide’s north has been jailed for at least 20 years by an Australian court.
Ketheshwaran Sivaperuman, 35, bled to death after being stabbed once with a large kitchen knife at his Elizabeth South home in January last year.
The Supreme Court heard his killer, Satheeswaran Suppiah, 31, stabbed Sivaperuman after a falling-out, in which Suppiah was called “a lady-boy”.
Suppiah was also a refugee from Sri Lanka.
The men were neighbours at the time of the murder and the court heard at one stage the pair even lived together.
About one month before the murder, the men “had a falling out”, Justice David Lovell said.
The court was previously told on the day of the murder, Suppiah had been drinking heavily, and had hidden the knife in his shorts before going to Sivaperuman’s house.
Suppiah had tried to blame another man for the crime.
He said he only had the knife to cut apples, but another man grabbed his hand and forced the knife into the victim’s stomach.
The court was told Sivaperuman was stabbed in the abdomen with such force the blade damaged his spine and exposed his intestine.
He suffered severe blood loss and died with minutes at the scene.
After the stabbing Suppiah returned to his house and rang police and the ambulance.
“One of the tragedies of this case is that you, Ketheshwaran (Sivaperuman) and witnesses to the murder fled to Australia to avoid violence and persecution,” Justice Lovell said.
“In a single moment on the 16th of January you simultaneously destroyed your own life, the life of Ketheshwaran (Sivaperuman) and the lives of people around him.”
A jury found Suppiah guilty of murder in May, but Justice Lovell said he had not accepted responsibility for the crime.
“This was a savage and deliberate attack,” Justice Lovell said.
“There’s no doubt in this case that you were significantly affected by alcohol.”
The victim’s widow in Sri Lanka has received a small amount of compensation and assistance to repatriate the body.
Suppiah has been sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 20 years, which is the minimum for murder. (ABC News)