Morocco extradites Chinese suspect in UK killing of Chinese family
Fugitive, found in Morocco, is the prime suspect in slaying of a Chinese family
A Chinese businessman appeared in a British court yesterday charged with the killing of a Chinese family after being extradited from Morocco.
Du Anxiang, 54, appeared at Northampton Magistrates Court a day after being flown from Casablanca to London.
University lecturer Ding Jifeng, 46, his wife Helen Chui, 47, and their daughters Xing, 18, and Alice, 12, were found stabbed to death at their home in Northampton on May 1, 2011.
Du, who wore a white hooded top and spoke through a Mandarin interpreter, confirmed his name, age and an address in Coventry before being remanded into custody. He is set to appear at Northampton Crown Court on March 15 for a plea and case management hearing.
Du was a former business associate of the Ding family, was arrested in July.
Ding and his wife were found knifed to death downstairs, while the children were discovered dead upstairs.
Ding worked in the chemistry and environmental sciences division at Manchester Metropolitan University, while his wife taught Putonghua at a local business school. Both daughters played violin for their youth orchestra and Xing was described as a straight-A student who had ambitions to go to Cambridge.
In 2004, Du opened a herbal medicine shop with Chui in Northampton. Both hailed from Hangzhou , Zhejiang province, and they went on to own at least two other shops. But within a couple of years the partners fell out and became embroiled in a bitter legal battle over debts said to have amounted to tens of thousands of pounds.
In November 2007, Chui and Ding were ordered to pay Du and his wife £30,000. Six months later, a court in Bristol ordered them to pay a further £30,000.
Their former partner then won another court order securing the debt against the Dings' house, but the following day the couple tried to sell their home to businessman and friend Paul Delaney for £210,000.
Du and his wife tried to prevent the sale, claiming the Dings were deliberately undervaluing their home to put the family's assets beyond their reach.
They then launched a civil suit against Delaney to stop the sale and initially won a district court ruling blocking the sale, but that was finally defeated in the High Court in a landmark case in 2010.
Hours before the killings, Du was handed an injunction which froze his assets. Police say that was the final straw that sparked his murderous rampage.
Agence France-Presse, Associated Press