Man jailed for attempted murder - Thatcham

22/12/2015

A man appeared at Reading Crown Court today, Tuesday, 22 December 2015, and was jailed for 11 years for the attempted murder of a man in Thatcham.

Qiang Gao, aged 39, of Acorn Drive, Thatcham, was found guilty by a unanimous jury of one count of attempted murder, after a one week trial at the same court in November.

On 28 May 2015, at around 1pm, Gao had an altercation with a 40-year-old man who was known to him, in a takeaway restaurant in High Street, Thatcham.

They had a fight and Gao struck the victim with a meat cleaver. The victim sustained a deep laceration to his forehead and rear of his head, fractures to his skull, a laceration to his left shoulder and a partially severed finger. He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital for treatment.

Gao also sustained a cut to his arm during the assault and was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for treatment.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the attempted murder of a 40-year-old man by his 39-year-old work colleague, Qiang Gao, on 28 May 2015, at a takeaway restaurant in Thatcham.

"Following an initial disagreement in the kitchen about preparing chicken and Gao demanding his wages, there were further arguments between the two men involving a physical altercation between them. The evidence suggested that the victim wielded a meat cleaver causing an injury to the arm of Gao. As the victim was walking away, having discarded his meat cleaver, Gao went after the victim with his own meat cleaver and attacked the victim with it. Blows were struck to both the back and the front of the victims skull. The victim sustained severe head injuries, including a fractured skull, which could have had far worse consequences. There is no doubt that, with the force used, Gao intended to kill the victim. Gao clearly acted out of blind retaliation in a grossly disproportionate manner and is undoubtedly an extremely dangerous man.

"Gao answered no comment during his police interview and subsequently denied attempted murder, claiming self-defence, but was found guilty by a jury 20 November 2015, after a five-day trial at Reading Crown Court despite his denials.

"We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved. The CPS takes all allegations of violence seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders.

"We know that nothing can undo what happened to the victim, but we hope that the conviction and today's sentence bring him at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with him at this time."

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Gareth Perry from Force CID at Newbury police station said: "The victim in this assault sustained substantial injuries and although nothing can change what he went through, I hope that the sentence given to Gao today will help him to feel some sense of justice.

"Gao was apprehended and charged very quickly, and the conviction and sentence are testament to the hard work of a large number of officers involved in the case.

"Violent crime has no place in our community and will not be tolerated. This case is an example of how Thames Valley Police works to protect the community and bring offenders to justice."