Manchester

Body-in-suitcase trial: Gambler 'murdered and dismembered' friend

Police vehicles and forensic tents in the lay-by where the body was found
Image caption Yang Liu's body was found in a suitcase in a remote lay-by between Manchester and Sheffield

A prolific gambler murdered his wealthy friend to solve debt problems then dismembered his body and stuffed it into a suitcase, a court has been told.

Ming Jiang, 43, was in debt and being chased by creditors but his friend and fellow Chinese national Yang Liu, 36, could afford to gamble, the jury heard.

It is alleged Mr Jiang, of Beswick, dumped the suitcase in a remote Derbyshire lay-by and set it alight.

Mr Jiang denies murder. His trial at Minshull Street Crown Court continues.

'Body parts'

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Mr Jiang murdered Yang Lui as "a solution to his financial problems".

"He was a heavy gambler and, like many gamblers, lost more than he won," Mr Wright said.

"He dismembered the body - in all likelihood in his own flat - and then disposed of the body parts.

"He then set about assuming the dead man's identity, gaining access to his bank accounts and his personal effects and his apartment."

A total of £800 was taken from the dead man's bank account, the jury was told.

'Bladed weapon'

Mr Wright told the court Mr Liu's body was badly burned and had been extensively dismembered.

His head, both lower arms and both lower legs had been severed by "some bladed form of weapon" and removed, he said, adding: "They have never been found."

The jury heard the victim was last seen alive "in the vicinity" of the defendant's flat on 5 October 2016.

Using CCTV footage, detectives identified a silver Mercedes approaching and leaving the lay-by where the suitcase was dumped, just off the A628 at Tintwistle.

They discovered it was registered to Mr Jiang.

Distinctive tyre tracks also fitted the car, while traces of blood in the boot matched DNA from Mr Liu's body, the court was told.

The trial continues.

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