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Act of revenge Man jailed for life for murdering schoolgirl in Chinese takeaway

Wenjing Lin – also known as Wenjing Xu – was strangled at her family’s Chinese takeaway in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, on March 5.

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Wenjing Xu was murdered by Chun Xu at her family’s Chinese takeaway in the village of Ynyswen (South Wales Police/PA)

Wenjing Xu was murdered by Chun Xu at her family’s Chinese takeaway in the village of Ynyswen (South Wales Police/PA)

Wenjing Xu was murdered by Chun Xu at her family’s Chinese takeaway in the village of Ynyswen (South Wales Police/PA)

A man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years for murdering a schoolgirl at her family’s Chinese takeaway in a “wicked act of revenge”.

Wenjing Lin – also known as Wenjing Xu – was strangled at the Blue Sky restaurant in Ynyswen, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, on March 5.

On Friday, Chun Xu was sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court to life imprisonment and will spend at least three decades behind bars, after a jury convicted him of the 16-year-old’s murder.

The 32-year-old was also found guilty of attempting to murder Wenjing’s stepfather, Yongquan Jiang.

His Honour Judge PH Thomas QC, sentencing, told the court in Xu’s absence: “You cruelly murdered an innocent 16-year-old girl in her own home.

“You killed her as a wicked act of revenge upon her mother; Wenjing had done nothing wrong to you at all.

“You, however, ended her life by strangling her with your hands, face to face.

“It has left her mother utterly bereft, her only daughter taken away from her by you, someone she considered to be a member of her extended family.”

The judge said there was “no doubt” the “vengeful and murderous attack” on the family was planned “well in advance”.

The revenge motive, cruelly, savagely and carefully planned and executed, is clearly in its own right a substantial, aggravating featureJudge PH Thomas, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court

“The revenge motive, cruelly, savagely and carefully planned and executed, is clearly in its own right a substantial, aggravating feature,” he said.

After sentencing, he added: “So that everyone understands the sentence, you will be in your 60s before you can apply to be released.

“That will be in the year 2051. The fact you are able to be released does not mean that you will be released then.

“You may never leave prison if it’s not considered safe and appropriate.”

Wenjing lived at the takeaway in Baglan Street with her mother, Meifang Xu, and Mr Jiang.

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The trial heard that Xu was a heavy gambler and owed the family £14,000.

He was said to have visited them armed with a kitchen knife, and, an hour before the attacks, had Googled “Can fingerprints be destroyed by fire”.

When he was later questioned by a psychologist about his fitness to be interviewed by police, he said: “I didn’t mean to hurt the little girl. I wanted revenge on her mother.

“She upset me on many times and didn’t listen to what I say.”

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Chun Xu attacked Wenjing Xu and Yongquan Jiang at the Blue Sky restaurant in Ynyswen on March 5 (Adam Hale/PA)

Chun Xu attacked Wenjing Xu and Yongquan Jiang at the Blue Sky restaurant in Ynyswen on March 5 (Adam Hale/PA)

Chun Xu attacked Wenjing Xu and Yongquan Jiang at the Blue Sky restaurant in Ynyswen on March 5 (Adam Hale/PA)

Wenjing’s mother, speaking to the court via a translator, was tearful as she said her life has been “turned upside down” by the incident.

Ms Xu added that the whole family is missing Wenjing “terribly” and that she will “be in our hearts forever”.

Mr Jiang told the court he is missing his stepdaughter “unbelievably” and spoke of the “scars” he was left with after he was attacked.

Despite not being blood relations, Xu, also known as Little Gang, was regarded as a nephew by Ms Xu.

The family entrusted him with £20,000 that he said he would send back to China for them to pay a friend who had lent them money to start their business in the UK.

However, Xu only sent some of the money back and gambled away £14,000, which he had then begun paying back.

On March 4 2021, he rang Ms Xu and asked if he could go to see them, but told her not to tell anyone about his visit, before he “strangled to death 16-year-old Wenjing” the next morning.

After killing Wenjing, Xu began attacking her stepfather with two knives, stabbing him in the neck and body.

When Mr Jiang asked Xu why he was attacking him, Xu replied: “Money, money, money.”

Mr Jiang fought Xu off and went to find Wenjing. He discovered her lying on her back by the takeaway counter.

Despite attempts by the family and then paramedics to resuscitate the teenager, she was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.59pm.

Police found Xu in the kitchen, having cut his own throat. He was treated at the University Hospital of Wales before being arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

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