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A "trusted family friend" who strangled a schoolgirl to death at a Chinese takeaway has been jailed for life.

Wenjing Lin, also known as Wenjing Xu, was murdered at Blue Sky Chinese in Baglan Street, Ynyswen, on March 5.

The defendant, Chun Xu, later told police he wanted "revenge" against the 16-year-old's mother Meifang Xu after he fell into debt, a court heard.

Pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbeatter said Wenjing Lin died as a result of pressure on the neck.

The jury found the 32-year-old guilty of murdering Ms Lin, 16, and of attempting to murder her stepfather Yongquan Jiang Yang, after stabbing him "repeatedly and viciously" with a knife.

Xu exercised his right not to give evidence during his trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, and the jury returned their verdicts around 11.45 am on Tuesday.

Wenjing's mother's statement of the moment she saw her daughter was read to the court. She said: "The moment I saw her face had gone black and pale. I went to hug her and her body was cold. I could see her neck was black as she had been strangled."

Following his arrest, Xu told officers: "I didn’t mean to hurt the little girl, I wanted revenge upon her mother. She had upset me many times and she did not listen to what I said. My intent was revenge on my mother, not my little girl. No turning back anymore. I wanted to take my life by cutting my throat."

Michael Jones QC, for the prosecution, tells the court that the defendant Xu first came to the attention of the authorities in 2015 following an immigration raid on a takeaway business in Merthyr.

Xu later applied for asylum in the UK and was invited for an interview in May of 2016 – an interview he did not attend.

The court heard it has been confirmed that Xu does not, and never has had, a valid leave to remain in the UK.

Judge Paul Thomas QC sentenced the defendant to a term of life imprisonment after the guilty verdict was reached on November 9.

Though the defendant has refused to attend the hearing Judge Paul Thomas QC referred to him as though he was in the dock.

The judge said: "Mr Xu, you cruelly murdered an innocent 16-year-old girl in her own home. You killed her as a wicked act of revenge upon her mother. Wenjing had done nothing at all wrong to you. You, however, ended her life by strangling her with your hand or hands, face-to-face. It has left her mother utterly bereft."

The judge says though the financial gain was not a motivating factor, the revenge motive – “cruelly, savagely, and carefully planned and executed” – is in itself a substantial aggravating feature in the case, and one justifies a substantial increase in the starting point in the sentence.

The defendant has been given a life sentence, and is told he must serve a minimum of 30 years before he can apply for parole.

For the attempted murder of Yongquan Jiang Yang the defendant is sentenced to 25 years in prison to run concurrently.

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  • Courts
  • Crime
  • Murder

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