Chinese man on trial in Britain over brutal murder of family of four

LONDON (AFP) - A Chinese businessman went on trial in Britain on Tuesday, accused of stabbing a family of four to death over a business relationship that turned sour.

Du Anxiang, 55, denies the murders of university lecturer Jifeng "Jeff" Ding, his wife Ge "Helen" Chui, and their two daughters, 18-year-old Xing "Nancy" and Alice, 12.

Prosecutors say Du, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, armed himself with a kitchen knife before "savagely" attacking Mr Ding and his wife at their home in Northamptonshire, central England, in April 2011.

"Not content with killing them, the mother and father, in the kitchen of their own home, he then went upstairs to find their two daughters," prosecution lawyer William Harbage told the jury at Northampton Crown Court.

"He cold-bloodedly stabbed them to death as well."

Relatives of the Dings, who have travelled from China for the trial, listened from the courtroom as Mr Harbage described how Du went into business with the couple in 1999, but they had become involved in a long-running legal dispute.

He was facing some £88,000 (S$175,528) in legal costs, jurors were told.

"It was obvious to him that he had lost, he faced ruin," Mr Harbage said.

"And so he resorted to violence, to murder, in order to avenge himself of the people who had caused him such grief."

He had planned and committed the murders with "ruthless efficiency", Mr Harbage said, adding that CCTV footage and fingerprints in the bloodstains placed him firmly at the scene of the killings.

Mr Harbage said that having "massacred" the family, he stole their car and went looking for another man involved in the legal battle - but could not find him.

Du fled to Morocco after the killings and was extradited to Britain earlier this year, the court heard.

Mr Ding was a science lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in north-west England, while his wife was a businesswoman and translator.

The couple moved to Britain around 20 years ago, and their daughters were both born in Britain.

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