Man jailed for 40 years for slaying Chinese family in Britain

LONDON (AFP) - A businessman who butchered a Chinese family of four to death in a savage revenge attack was sentenced Thursday to at least 40 years in jail.

Du Anxiang, 54, was sentenced to life with a four-decade minimum term at Northampton Crown Court in central England.

Du killed compatriot Mr Ding "Jeff" Jifeng, 46, his wife Ms Ge Chui, 47, and their daughters Xing, 18, and Alice, 12, at their home in the town on April 29, 2011.

A jury on Wednesday convicted him of their murders.

The jury heard how Du "massacred" the Dings, his former business partners, in revenge after losing a 10-year legal battle over a Chinese herbal medicine business.

"These were cold-blooded murders which, in my view, were pre-meditated and were considered acts of revenge in which you wiped out an entire family," said judge Julian Flaux as he passed sentence.

"Hatred and anger and your desire for revenge was what motivated you to act as you did." Mr Flaux said security camera footage of him travelling to the Dings' home revealed he was "calm and methodic" and a "man on a mission." His "frenzied attack" was an act of "savage butchery" with an intent to kill, the judge added.

"You did not lose your self control in killing Jeff Ding; in effect you executed the man you hated." Du fled Britain, travelling through France and Spain to Morocco, where he was arrested sleeping rough at a building site in July 2012 after more than a year on the run. He was extradited in February.

Mr Ding worked in the chemistry and environmental sciences division at Manchester Metropolitan University.

His wife taught Mandarin part-time at a local business school.

Both hailed from Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province.