'Gratuitous murder' stuns judge

By MARK RUSSELL, The Age

YENG Jun Wu – a bankrupt businessman has been jailed for 27 years after brutally murdering his brother-in-law and removing his brain.

Supreme Court Justice Terry Forrest said that in his 35 years in criminal law he had never seen a crime as “appallingly and gratuitously violent”.

Justice Forrest said Yeng Jun Wu’s torture and execution of his brother-in-law Shao Qing ‘Victor’ Chen and the subsequent defiling of his body were aggravating factors of his offending.

Mr Chen had most likely been asleep when Wu, who owed him more than $250,000, set upon him in his bedroom with a heavy, sharp weapon believed to be a machete or an axe.

He was struck repeatedly before being coerced down the stairs and killed despite trying to ward off the murderous attack, Justice Forrest said on Tuesday.

Mr Chen’s distraught wife, Yan Yan Wang, was in tears as the judge described how during the attack, Wu removed Mr Chen’s brain and placed it near his head.

Wu, 45, was found guilty by a jury last month of murdering Mr Chen. He had tried to blame Mr Chen’s wife’s brother for the murder.

“This is an appalling crime and you must be punished for it,” Justice Forrest told Wu. “There is no remorse.”

Wu was jailed for 27 years with a non-parole period of 21 years.

He showed no emotion as he was led away by security guards.

Mr Chen, a plasterer, had been found by his father lying face down in the family room at a property in Endeavour Hills on February 11 last year.

He had been brutally murdered after going out for dinner at a restaurant in Rowville the night before with his wife’s brother, Dong Wang, Wu, and Wu’s brother, Ying Wu.

Wu later drove Mr Chen home in his white Mercedes to his property at Endeavour Hills.

The two men and Ying Wu continued to drink, talk business and also discussed the domestic problems Mr Chen had been having with his wife.

Mr Chen had been locked up earlier in the day for four hours at Narre Warren police station after a domestic argument with his wife.

He had been forced to move out of the family home in Berwick because of his alcohol and gambling problems and claims of domestic violence.

Wu and his brother left the Churchill Park Drive property at about 1am but Wu returned shortly after to kill Mr Chen.

Justice Forrest said there was no acrimony shown between Yeng Wu and Mr Chan at dinner or later that night at the Endeavour Hills property.

Mr Chen, 41, who was born in Inner Mongolia, China, and became an Australian citizen in 1988, was slashed at least 40 times to the head and body with a long, sharp bladed weapon.

There were defensive wounds to Mr Chen’s right hand and right and left forearm.

A forensic pathologist observed numerous slash marks across Mr Chen’s entire body and face and the back of his skull had been cut open and his brain physically removed.

Bloodied shoe impressions led from the bedroom and top of the stairs towards the front door and the bathroom.

The shoe impressions were similar to size 7 men’s Prada shoes. An empty shoe box for a pair of size 7 Prada shoes were found at Wu’s home just outside the garage.

DNA from blood drops and a broken Boss zipper also pointed to Wu being the killer.

Police noticed Wu wore Boss clothing and had a wound on his right hand when they interviewed him.

At the time of his arrest, Wu was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

He had been loaned substantial sums of money from a number of family members and associates to maintain his lifestyle before buying a restaurant, initially called Spicy Temptation and later renamed Straits of Malacca, in Little Bourke Street in 2009.

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