A shopkeeper was murdered by one of his workers for a day’s takings of £2,500, a jury was told yesterday.
Vairamutha Thiyagarajah suffered “catastrophic head injuries” when he was attacked in the flat above his shop in Bedford.
He died four days later in hospital, on April 11 this year, never having regained consciousness.
The 56-year-old, who was known by the affectionate name of ‘Appa’, lived in Bletchley.
His employee, Thilak Mohan-Raj, is on trial for his murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Luton Crown Court heard that because of the long hours worked the Sri Lanken shopkeeper spent the week sleeping above his shop, M and K Food and Wine, based in Elstow Road, Bedford.
Prosecutor Michael Speak told the jury three workers also lived above the shop.
This included Thilak Mohan-Raj, 25, who had only started a job there a week earlier. At the time of the attack the other two men were not home.
He said Mohan-Raj had admitted taking £2,500, the shop’s takings from the day before. They had been removed from the victim’s locked bedroom, which he also used as an office, and were found in a drawer in Mr Mohan-Raj’s bedroom.
The jury was told that the defendant called for an ambulance, telling the paramedic that his boss had fallen from upstairs and hurt himself.
Mr Mohan-Raj has pleaded not guilty to murder. The case continues.