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   Nov 28

Background to Dings murders lay in bitter court feud

At Northampton Crown Court today Anxiang Du – the deranged businessman who murdered his former business partner, her husband and their two young daughters – was finally found guilty of four counts of murder.

He stabbed them to death, one by one, over a row about money and having failed in his attempt to “humiliate” the family in court.

He killed them as the nation celebrated the marriage of Prince William and Kate, while young Alice and Xing watched the celebrations on television upstairs in their bedrooms.

It was the worst crime Northampton has ever witnessed.

Du’s wife had met Helen at a herbal medicine shop in the Grosvenor Centre, a short walk from the court where he finally faced justice.

The families went on to have a bitter legal feud.

Having lost the battle, Du boarded a bus at Greyfriars Bus Station at 1pm, getting off in Wootton High Street.

He then walked to Pioneer Close, asking for directions along the way.

Du first murdered Jifeng “Jeff” Ding, stabbing him 23 times. Du then killed Ge “Helen” Chui, after she tried to stop the attack. She was stabbed 13 times.

He then walked upstairs and killed the girls – 18-year-old Xing and Alice. Xing was stabbed 11 times and Alice, aged just 12, was stabbed four times. Once to the heart.

The murders came after a long, acrimonious battle between Du, his wife and the Dings.

The fall-out all started with an offer of help.

Du, who like Helen and Jeff, was an immigrant from China, was facing deportation.

Helen had become friends with Can Chen, Du’s wife, while she worked at a Chinese herbal medicine shop in The Grosvenor Centre.

Mrs Chen was concerned her husband’s work permit had expired and feared he would be sent back to China.

Eventually – fatefully – the families ended up going into business together, opening a Chinese herbal medicine shop in Coventry, followed by two more in Cheltenham and Gloucester.

However, the relationship started to unravel in 2001, when Du was accused of stealing around £40,000 from one of the shops.

He was arrested and the pair were later sacked for the theft.

It prompted a bitter fallout, played out before the highest judges and inside some of the most important courtrooms in the UK.

Du and his wife claimed they were owed money by the Dings and the acrimonious legal row rumbled on for seven years.

One man who was close to the proceedings said the legal battle was all about “face”.

Paul Delaney, who Du attempted to hunt down having already killed the Dings, told the Chron after the murders: “He wanted to bankrupt Helen and Jeff. He wanted to humiliate them in court.

“I have never experienced a more vindictive pursuing of someone through the courts.”

Mr Delaney, who has since died of natural causes, helped the Dings to put their house beyond Du’s reach.

He then won an appeal, preventing Du from selling his own house, and leaving him with huge court costs.

He served Du with an injunction at 10pm on Thursday, April 28.

The next day, the Dings were dead and Du was on the run.

Source: Northhampton Chronicle & Echo


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