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South Wales Police

Man found guilty of murdering teenager Wenjing Lin at a Chinese takeaway

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Chun Xu has been found guilty of murdering 16 year-old Wenjing Lin and attempting to murder her step-father, Yongquan Jiang.

The 32 year-old who lived in Merthyr Tydfil was convicted at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday, November 9 (2021).

Chun Xu’s offences were committed at the Blue Sky Takeaway on Baglan Street, Treorchy on Friday, 5 March, 2021.

Xu had visited his teenage victim’s family on March 4 and spent the evening with them. The court heard that Xu was seeking revenge over a money debt that he owed the family. He had gambled away money given to him by Wenjing Lin’s mother which he was meant to send home to a mutual friend in China.

The following day, on March 5, he murdered Wenjing by strangling her and left her laying on the floor by the counter of the shop.

He then lured her step-father into the basement where he stabbed him multiple times with two knives before turning a knife on himself.

South Wales Police’s investigation proved that Xu’s actions were premeditated when they seized his phone. On it they discovered he had used internet search engines to find out if fingerprints could be damaged by fire just hours before the attacks. The court also heard that Xu had taken a knife with him to the premises.

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Chun Xu had pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and wounding with intent, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter and unlawful wounding.

But he was tried for murder and attempted murder by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all charges, after which the judge told the defendant that he is facing life imprisonment when he is sentenced on Friday (November 12).

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lewis, said: “On behalf of South Wales Police, I am pleased that the trial has resulted in the successful conviction of Chun Xu for the murder of Wenjing and for the attempted murder of Yongquan Jiang. The evidence gathered and heard in this case demonstrated that this was a pre-meditated and callous murder of an innocent, bright, talented and loved 16 year-old girl and a brutal attack on her step-father with an obvious attempt to kill him.

“During our investigation it became clear how popular and well-loved Wenjing was by all who knew her. This incident brought shock to the close knit communities of Treorchy and Treherbert and has been devastating for Wenjing’s family and friends.

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“My over-riding thoughts today are with Wenjing’s mum who has lost her loving daughter who I know was also her closest friend. I hope that this conviction will help in some way but I also know that the days, months and years ahead will be extremely difficult.

“I want to thank the community for their support and assistance, both at the time of the incident and during the investigation which followed. I would also like to pay tribute to the diligence of the Crown Prosecution Service and Counsel, and the officers and staff in my investigation team for the outstanding professionalism and tenacity shown to bring this case to justice.”

Wenjing’s mum bravely read out a tribute to her daughter after the guilty verdict was announced (Image: South Wales Police)

Folllowing the guilty verdict Wenjing’s mum bravely shared these words and paid tribute to her daughter and to the local community who have been so supportive since her tragic loss:

“My beautiful daughter has gone and I can never forgive you. I have lost my beloved daughter, my everything. She cared for my husband and I, helping us to communicate with English speakers .

“My husband was a very strong and fit young man who had never felt tired before this vicious brutal attack. He has severe mental and physical injuries from the brutal attack and now he even struggles to work, often suffering nightmares – seeing Wenjing lying on the floor by the counter in the reception area on that horrible day. The treatment he must receive from the hospital will go on for a long time and his scars will remain forever.

“My daughter’s school and friends miss her so much, I know they are suffering from the pain and the loss of their best friend. They will never recover.

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“Before that awful day, she was a happy girl who loved spending time with her friends and was enjoying school. We visited the school to speak with them – my daughter had passed all her GCSEs with A* but she will never know her results that she worked so hard for.  I am so proud of her achievements. She loved school so much – her teachers called her the model student.

“I am still not able to comprehend why you would do this to her. I cry every day and watch videos of her to feel close to her and hear her voice.

“Our lives have been turned upside down. I cannot imagine my life without her – she was my only child and you have broken our hearts forever.

“I have to begin counselling to help me but nothing will ever take away the pain that you caused.

“I am so thankful and touched all support given to us by the school, the local community, our friends, the crown prosecution service, and the police have provided to us. We are so relieved that justice has been done and that he is being punished for what he did.

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“I hope there will never be another innocent victim like Wenjing.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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Penclawdd

Penclawdd child sex offender jailed for nine years

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A Penclawdd man has been jailed for nine years following an intelligence-led operation by Tarian, the regional organised crime unit, along with South Wales Police.

A previously convicted paedophile Steven Morris 58, from Penclawdd in Swansea appeared before Swansea Crown Court today for sentencing, where he had previously pleaded guilty to sexually communicating with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming as well as breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He was arrested on the 14th October 2021 by detectives from Tarian Disruption Unit and investigated by Swansea Criminal Investigation Department, where he was remanded in custody until his appearance today.

Morris engaged in conversation with what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, who was in fact an undercover police officer. He told the officer “Do mum and dad know u chat? My wife doesn’t xxx”.

Upon hearing she was just 13 years old Morris stated “As long as u aren’t police or gonna report me I’m happy to chat and meet up if u are genuine”.

Morris’ conversations with the officer became more sexually explicit, he sent images of himself and began to suggest that the pair meet in person, saying things like “If we meet it would be really secret xxxx”.

A date was then arranged for Morris to meet with the undercover officer at a location in Pontypridd on the 14th October 2021. Once he arrived at the agreed location he was quickly arrested by officers from TARIAN’s Disruption Team.

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Morris was given a nine-year extended sentence. Four of which will be spent in prison. He was placed on the Registered Sex Offenders list indefinitely, and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

Detective Inspector Dave Bancroft said: “This is an excellent operation between Tarian South Wales Police.

“It is our absolute priority to protect and keep children safe in our communities, irrelevant of who or where that threat comes from.

“Law enforcement operates across the internet, and we will relentlessly seek to bring to justice individuals who use the web to facilitate the abuse of children.”

“If anyone has been a victim of child sexual abuse, I urge you to report it to your local police force via 101. We will always follow up allegations of abuse, no matter when they occurred. Victims can talk in confidence to experienced investigators and we can also help them get access to a range of other support services.”

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“If you have concerns about your use of the internet or inappropriate thoughts or behaviour about children or if you are worried about how someone you know behaves around children or are worried about their use of the internet then the Lucy Faithfull Foundation provide a free, anonymous and confidential Stop It Now! helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information.”

(Lead image: Tarian / South Wales Police)

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South Wales Police

Six year jail sentence for Swansea rapist

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A St Thomas man has been jailed for six years after being convicted of rape at Swansea Crown Court

23 year-old Jake Evans-Hodgeson from Kinley Street in St Thomas was sentenced after being found guilty by a jury at Swansea Crown Court on Friday (19 November)

The court heard, the offence took place in September 2020 in Swansea.

South Wales Police Detective Constable Emma Robbins, officer in the case, said: “I would like to commend the victim for showing the strength and courage throughout this investigation, in order to ensure Hodgeson was brought to justice.

“I hope this sentence provides some sort of closure and comfort for the victim and she attempts to move on with her life.

“I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to come forward to report sexual abuse but I want to reassure anyone considering doing so that there is a whole range of support out there, not only from the police but from partner agencies who can help you through the entire process.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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South Wales Police

ITV’s Ruth Dobson talks about her experiences of domestic abuse in support of National Safeguarding Week

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Earlier this year, ITV Wales presenter Ruth Dodsworth’s ex-husband was sentenced to three years in jail for coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking.

South Wales Police say that domestic violence and abuse is their most reported safeguarding issue, with a third of all violent crimes being domestic related. Every 15 minutes, the Force receives a phone call relating to incidents of domestic abuse.

Talking about her experience of domestic abuse, Ruth said: “I realised that he was quite volatile very early on, but the relationship is new, you forgive certain things, you think ‘oh it’s okay it will blow over’.

“I became more and more isolated from friends and family, but that in a weird way that made it harder because he very much became the centre of my world, he was all I had in a sense.

“I know categorically if I’d stayed, I’d be dead now, and so asking for help saved my life.”

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Detective Chief Inspector Eve Davis, force lead for domestic abuse and violence, said: “Domestic abuse and violence is a priority for South Wales Police. It can affect anyone and not only has devastating impacts upon those suffering the abuse directly but affects others such as children, extended family members, friends and the community also.

I would encourage any victim or survivor of abuse to make that call for help, additionally if you are concerned about someone you know you can also make a call on their behalf.

South Wales Police works with a number of a number of partner agencies to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence, and if there are people that don’t wish to make a report directly to the police then please consider making contact with Live Fear Free.”

If you are concerned about someone you know, South Wales Police have more information and advice about domestic abuse on their website.

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