Man Guilty Of Manchester Lecturer Murder

27 November 2013, 13:36 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A businessman who stabbed a family of four to death has been found guilty of their murders.

Anxiang Du, 54, was convicted by a jury at Northampton Crown Court of murdering Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer Jifeng ''Jeff'' Ding, his wife, Ge ''Helen'' Chui, and their two daughters, Xing ''Nancy'' 18, and Alice, 12, on April 29, 2011.

Jurors rejected the claim that Du, from Coventry, should be convicted of manslaughter on the basis of either diminished responsibility or loss of control.

The jury of eight women and four men took just over three hours to deliver a unanimous verdict.

Du looked down in the dock as the verdicts were read out.

Judge Mr Justice Flaux adjourned sentence until tomorrow.

He said: ''Anxiang Du, you have been found guilty of four counts of murder

''No doubt your counsel will have explained that there is only one sentence I can pass for this and I will sentence you tomorrow.''

The judge, addressing members of the Ding family, said: ''I have observed the dignified way in which you have conducted yourselves throughout a trial which must have truly horrendous for you.

The court heard the bodies were not discovered until May 1, two days after the killings.

During the trial, jurors wiped tears from their eyes as a recording of a frantic 999 call made from Alice Ding's mobile phone on the day of the killings, was played in court.

The screams of both girls could be heard on the call, made at 3.32pm, before the line went dead.

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found Northamptonshire Police had mishandled the 999 call, resulting in officers being sent to the wrong address and the call being closed prematurely.

Speaking at a media briefing at Northamptonshire Police headquarters, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Tom Davies, from Northamptonshire Police, admitted they will ''never know'' what may have happened had the call been handled correctly.

The detective also revealed that officers from Northamptonshire Police were sent to the Dings' address on the morning of May 1.

West Midlands Police asked the force to visit the Dings after Mr Du's wife reported her husband as missing on April 30 and mentioned a dispute between the two families.

The officers visited the Dings' house at 8.10am on May 1 but when there was no reply, they simply posted a card through the door and left, unaware of the four bodies that lay inside, Mr Davies said.

The bodies were only discovered after a concerned neighbour contacted police later that same day to say he had seen a body laid on the floor through a back window.

A psychiatrist who visited Du in prison earlier this year told the court the businessman had given him a version of events that took place on the day of the killings.

Professor Nigel Eastman, a forensic psychiatrist, told jurors Du had told him he had gone to the Dings to get money back from them.

He admitted to the psychiatrist that he had thought about harming the Dings and told Mr Eastman: ``If the Dings had apologised to me I probably would not have done that (harmed them). Throughout they never apologised.''

He told Mr Eastman he stabbed Mr and Mrs Ding before going upstairs and killing their two children.