Long sentence for a brutal murder committed by an arrogant, selfish and ruthless killer… but should the penalty have been even harsher?
Wednesday 3rd May 2017 15:22 Gorton & Openshaw Longdendale News Tameside Posted by Nigel P.

Ming Jiang found guilty of murder at Minshull Street Crown Court last week and yesterday sentenced to a minimum of 33 years in prison before he can be considered for parole.

Ming Jiang originally from Shanghai, but settled in Beswick, East Manchester, earned himself a 33 year sentence yesterday at Minshull Street Crown Court for a despicable crime against a wholly innocent man who regarded him as a friend.

Judge John Potter Q.C. in deliberating how he arrived at his 33 year tariff said: “I am taking into account this was a murder carried out for personal gain.

“Although the defendant had admitted various offences of fraud, I have to take into consideration in mitigation, that this was a first conviction and in particular the defendant had no prior convictions for violent offences.

“Against this I am considering the dismemberment of Yang Liu’s body and the lack of remorse shown by the defendant.”

Indeed the defendant continues to demonstrate a huge absence of remorse for the victim, a lack of respect for the court and the Jury and persists in his denial and refusal to accept responsibility for his crime.

He did this most demonstrably by refusing to come into the dock and hear his sentence and the judge’s comments about his crime.

Jiang said: “I do not accept the verdict.”

Of course he will no doubt try to get leave to appeal his conviction.

That would in my opinion, having heard the evidence against him in the court over the four week trial, be a further waste of tax payers’ money.

Since the trial began, daily reporting by the Tameside Reporter on the case and its background went global via the internet.

Our reports were read by Hong Kong and mainland China residents with horrified enthusiasm, as we were often the only source of direct news from the court.

In the process we became privy to information regarding Jiang’s background before he came to the UK in 2006.

We we did not divulge that information at the time because we did not want to prejudice the case against Jiang.

But we learnt that Jiang does not possess a degree in economics as he stated, that he did not have a joint mortgage as he claimed, except for a year after which he signed the property over to his partner’s sole name.

This was because he had already had so many loans from his former partner that he could not pay back, it was agreed to transfer the title of a property in Macau into his partner’s sole name in lieu of payment.

In court Jiang claimed that his partner sold the property behind his back after 15 years.

This was not true, he said this so that the jury would believe the reasons he gave for making checks on the internet regarding Yang Liu’s title to apartments on the Land Registry website.

There was also information about why Jiang left his job with Lufthansa in Germany from where he had emigrated from Macau.

It is understood that Jiang owed money to several elderly gay German men, some of whom took legal action against him to get his salary with Lufthansa frozen in order to get their money back.

After arriving in the UK he embarked on a series of frauds and was very probably involved in high value burglaries from which came the credit cards and identity documents such as passports and driving licenses, that were discovered in his Falconwood Way apartment in Beswick.

Most disturbing though is information that Jiang had been sacked from a job in the UK for throwing a chair at a work colleague.

He had been described in court by one casino manageress who barred him from the casino premises as “volatile and unmanageable when he was upset about something”.

So if not convictions for violence then examples where he was capable of using it.

Why choose the location where he dumped Yang’s torso near the picturesque village of Tintwistle?

This was probably a fairly random choice based on his travels to Nottingham and Sheffield while visiting casinos in those cities, though he denied ever having been to Sheffield, though this was challenged by the prosecution.

One theory is that the Didsbury Gate lay-by is relatively remote and quiet and the wall there would have afforded him some cover from the vision of passing motorists.

 

The small first floor flat in Falconwood Way, Beswick, where murder victim Yang Liu’s body was dismembered  before being dumped in Tintwistle. Later, stolen credit cards and documents taken in high value burglaries were discovered at the flat. 

But the feeling is that he did not choose to get rid of the torso there or in that way, but piece by piece from his flat.

Former friends in Hong Kong have described Jiang as chaotic in his personal habits. 

When he realised the enormity of his task and his unpreparedness for the job without the right cutting tools he realised he was faced with having a decomposing human body in his small bathroom.

The problems that would bring, in alerting the neighbours by the smell the body would produce, forced him to find another solution.

Police activity last October at Didsbury Gate lay-by near Tintwistle, Glossop. The lay-by offers some privacy from the road by virtue of the stone wall and hedging.

Perhaps it was then that he decided on taking the rest of the body away in one go and Didsbury Gate was the best location he could come up with.

Had he considered the disposal more thoroughly then perhaps he might have used one of the three reservoirs  just across the road from the lay-by.

Depositing the corpse there would surely have bought him more time before the corpse was discovered.

In choosing the lay-by he possibly had not reckoned on the volume of people using it to go walking.

He certainly did not reckon on the Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras that tracked his vehicle, these combined with mobile phone cell masts picking up signals from his phones were able to place him in or around Didsbury Gate, Tintwistle. They not only placed Jiang’s silver Mercedes BLK 170 in the locality, but gave the time as well.

We are the most surveilled nation on earth and that does not sit well with many people, but the flip side is that it is very hard to commit crime and not be recorded doing it, or at least leaving a visual and digital trail for investigators to pursue.

One wonders how long it would have taken police to identify the torso without the breaks they had from APNR that quickly brought Jiang to their attention as a person of interest.

This surely is the upside of the debate on  the ubiquity of  Big Brother surveillance. Had Madeline McCann gone missing in this country instead of Portugal, would the search for her be ongoing? Very probably not.

One assumes Jiang could not have known about the trail he was leaving, after dumping the torso, otherwise he would have been more aware that the clock was ticking against him and he would not have stayed around to try and dispose of Yang’s apartment.

He had already gained access to thousands of pounds of Jiang’s money from his bank accounts.

After the murder and dumping of the torso, Jiang travelled with a gambling friend on the same route to Nottingham, passing the spot where days earlier he would have dumped and set fire to his friend’s body.

This gives an insight into how he was able to compartmentalise his actions continuing with life in his normal care free way, focused only on one thing, gambling and high living.

He was able to partake in that lifestyle only through gambling, funded by fraud and bad loans .

Because even when he was losing, the casinos afforded him a lavish existence at no charge.

His expenditure with them gave Jiang entry into their exclusive restaurants where he could wine and dine, take coffee, tea and sandwiches and be entertained by huge video monitors in luxury surroundings 24 hours a day.

Perhaps this level of hospitality is something that casinos should have to consider in the future.

Yang Liu, Chinese Leeds University graduate, found murdered off the A628 at Tintwistle, near Glossop

The Tameside Reporter has had communication with Yang Liu’s grieving parents in Beijing through an intermediary.

Commenting on the sentence they said: “We are pleased with the sentence, but do hope that Jiang will never get out of prison.

“We are also are very keen to thank the Jury, the Judge and the police for all their hard work in securing a conviction.”

It would be perhaps of some comfort to them if Jiang decided to come clean and explain exactly what happened to their only son.

The reality might be painful, but surely better than the agony of never knowing, so that they are left to their own imaginations.

It might be of some comfort too if he divulged the location of Yang’s other body parts too (if they still exist) in order to be able to give the remains a dignified resting place.

These admissions from Jiang would have to be be preceded by a change in his frame of mind, that does not appear to be on the horizon anytime soon.

However he will have to learn that should he survive long enough in prison to be considered for parole, that consideration cannot take place until the 43 -year-old has accepted responsibility for his crime.