Gambler guilty of murdering friend and disposing of body in lay-by

28/04/2017

Ming Jiang has been found guilty at Minshull St Crown Court today of murdering his friend Yang Liu, dismembering his body and disposing of his remains by setting fire to them in a remote lay-by.

In October 2016, Yang Liu's charred and dismembered remains were discovered in a burnt suitcase in a lay-by off the Woodhead Pass between Manchester and Sheffield.  Days earlier Ming Jiang had lured Yang Liu to his flat in Beswick, Manchester, where he killed him.  He extensively dismembered his body, put the torso in a suitcase and drove to the lay-by late at night, where he set fire to the suitcase. In the following days, Ming Jiang let himself into Yang Liu's apartment in Media City, Salford and set about assuming his identity; gaining access to his bank accounts, assets and personal effects and disposing of them before he hoped anyone would realise that Yang Liu was missing. He also contacted and met estate agents to make arrangements for Yang Lui's Media City apartment to be sold.

Kirsty Walls from the CPS said: "Ming Jiang killed his friend Yang Liu out of greed.  He had accruing debts and had an expensive gambling habit.  He carried out a calculated and pre-meditated murder so that he could access Yang Liu's wealth and assets for his own gain. 

"There were many strands of evidence in this very complex case and the CPS has worked hard to build a clear, strong prosecution case to explain to the jury exactly what happened in October last year and to prove to them beyond all doubt that Ming Jiang was responsible for Mr Liu's murder. 

"Ming Jiang denied being involved in the murder and gave a number of conflicting accounts in his police interviews to explain away the evidence against him.  The CPS has proved during the trial that these were elaborate and ridiculous lies to try and escape justice.

"This has been a very distressing time for Yang Liu's family and I would like to express my sincere sympathies to them for their loss."

CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and telephone cell site evidence placed Ming Jiang at the location of the lay-by on the night the fire was seen by witnesses and placed him at Yang Lui's apartment afterwards.  A wealth of forensic evidence proved that Ming Jiang was involved in his violent death and the disposal of his body, including the presence of Yang Liu's blood in Ming Jiang's flat where there was evidence of an extensive clean-up operation, and also in the boot of his car.

Note to editor:

Kirsty Walls is Deputy Head of Greater Manchester Crown Court Team