The disabled wife of a shopkeeper who was stabbed to death at his shop has spoken of the "unbearable devastation" his murder has had on their children.

Ravi Katharkamar was stabbed at his shop in Pinner on March 24 by career criminal and drug addict Alex Gunn.

He left behind his wife, Vignarani and their sons, aged 13 and 16.

Despite "compelling" CCTV and forensic evidence, Gunn denied killing the shopkeeper, who lived in Watford, forcing Mr Katharkamar's family to go through all of the evidence in court.

Read more: Drug addict convicted of murder of shopkeeper

After he was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey today (Tuesday), Mr Katharkamar's wife Vignarani Aiyathirai said: "Ravi was my husband, my best friend, my soulmate.

"He was a friend of my brother and we had met a few times when I was a teenager, when we both lived in Sri Lanka.

"When I was 20 years old, I moved to Holland. I met Ravi again, he was working in a near-by flower factory. He was lovely, always looking out for everyone else, and we fell in love and married four months later.

"We remained in Holland for the following eight years. We bought a house and had our two boys."

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Ravi Katharkamar

The family moved to England to be closer to Mr Katharkamar's brother and help provide a good education for their boys.

Mrs Aiyathirai, who is disabled after she was involved in a crash a number of years ago, continued: "Ravi had various jobs including working in factories and driving a mini-cab in the evenings.

"He made sure his work fitted around our family life, so he could take the boys to school or pick them up and look after them until I finished work

"He was a family man, and our house used to be an active and happy house. Ravi was so cheerful. He would race around our home always singing old Tamil songs and making the boys laugh. Now it is silent and tearful. Losing Ravi has hit our sons really hard.

"Ravi was a son, cousin, favourite uncle, friend, colleague, business partner, best friend, dad and my husband. He was kind, generous, hardworking, humorous and loving.

"Today, and every day since Ravi died, I have found it unbearable. How could one person cause such devastation to so many of us, including young children. I will never get over losing Ravi."

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Stancombe has described Mr Katharkamar's killer as an "odious, vile, and dangerous individual".

Det Insp Stancombe said: "Ravi Katharkamar and Alex Gunn couldn’t be more different.

"Ravi was a warm and loving father and husband. A man who worked long hours to support his young family and run his shop in the heart of the local community in Pinner.

"Alex Gunn on the other hand, is a career criminal who has spent much of his adult life preying on other people."

Gunn, who was responsible for a string of burglaries, had already visited Mr Katharkamar's shop, Marsh Food & Wine, the week before the fatal stabbing.

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Alex Gunn, pictured, has been convicted of the murder of Ravi Katharkamar. Credit: CPS

When Gunn returned to the store on March 24, he was driving the same stolen Vauxhall Astra he had the week earlier, before later switching the number plates to evade capture.

Det Insp Stancombe added: "Gunn had a clear plan in mind. He covered his face, armed himself with a large knife, walking quickly into the shop, knowing from his previous visits, that Ravi would be alone and at the back.

"Without warning he grabbed Ravi from behind and put the knife to his throat.

"Ravi had no chance against a younger, bigger and violent armed man who was determined to rob him. Having ripped the till from the counter, Gunn stabbed Ravi twice in the chest before leaving him to die alone on his shop floor."

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Alex Gunn caught on CCTV entering Mr Katharkamar's shop. Credit: CPS

Harrow Times:

Alex Gunn with his face covered in Marsh Road. Credit: Met Police

"Despite the burglary offences being strikingly similar to his long list of previous convictions, despite the CCTV evidence being utterly compelling, despite the forensic evidence linking him to the car being incontrovertible, despite the glaring similarities in his clothing, Gunn continued to lie and squirm his way through his evidence, forcing Ravi’s family to relive the harrowing circumstances.

"Alex Gunn is an odious, vile and dangerous individual who I am pleased to say will now be in prison for a very long time."

Read more: Drug addict convicted of murder of shopkeeper