Murder families 'cried together'

Anxiang Du. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Relatives of a family of four who were stabbed to death have said it was "like the whole sky had fallen down" when they were told about the murders.

Jifeng "Jeff" Ding, his wife Ge "Helen" Chui and daughters Xing "Nancy", 18, and Alice, 12, were murdered by businessman Anxiang Du.

Jifeng "Jeff" Ding, his wife Ge "Helen" Chui and daughters Xing "Nancy", 18, and Alice, 12.

Du travelled to the family's home in Wootton, Northamptonshire, on April 29 2011 to exact revenge on former business partners Mr and Mrs Ding after losing a 10-year legal battle over a Chinese herbal medicine business.

The 54-year-old, from Coventry, fled the country after the killings and was arrested after more than a year on the run in Tangier, Morocco, last year.

Anxiang Du boards a bus to Wootton on the day of the killings. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

He was extradited back to the UK this year to face four charges of murder.

Du denied the charges and claimed he should be convicted of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility or loss of control.

But a jury dismissed his claims and convicted Du of murder following a two-week trial at Northampton Crown Court.

Speaking after the verdict, Mrs Ding's father Zuyao Cui said: "Anxiang Du killed a whole family and it affected the older people especially. They have found it very difficult to accept.

"The evidence we heard in court was just like a knife to the body."

He said the families of Mr and Mrs Ding cried together when they found out the family had been killed.

"When the two families heard about this it was like the whole sky has fallen down on them. We all cried together," Mr Cui said.

Having sat through the trial at Northampton Crown Court, Mr Cui said he had seen no remorse from Du in the dock.

"I can't see any regret because through all the evidence presented in the court you can't see any remorse."

He dismissed Du's defence and said the evidence had shown he had planned to carry out the murders.

Mr Cui said: "It has been shown that it was pre-planned. He brought a knife and all the evidence shown in court, the fact he let himself in the back door, showed that it was pre-planned."

Paying tribute to his daughter Helen, Mr Cui said: "She was a good mother, a good wife and taught the two girls (Alice and Nancy) very well."

Mrs Ding's brother, Xin Cui, said the trial had been a "very difficult time" for him. He said:

"I saw the evidence presented one by one in the court, firstly on the screen where we were shown all the positions of the knife injuries, we then heard the 999 call and the screaming of the two girls, all this evidence has hurt me and I am really angry.

"Du is very cruel. I have heard his defence lawyers giving different reasons to protect him and I feel really angry. It is impossible to think it was mental problems. It is not possible."

Mr Cui likened Anxiang Du to a Chinese proverb.

"There is a story about a farmer and a snake.

"The story is about a farmer on a winter day when it is snowing and he sees a snake almost dying in the cold so he picked it up and put it to his body to warm it up and then when the snake recovered he bit the farmer.

"Anxiang Du is just like that," Mr Cui said.