Gambler found guilty of killing friend in suitcase murder

A man has been convicted of killing and dismembering his wealthy friend, putting his torso in a suitcase, in a plot to assume his identity and clear his gambling debts.

Ming Jiang, 43, was found guilty of the murder of fellow Chinese man Yang Lui, 36, by a Manchester court.

Prosecutors said he hoped that police would be unable to identify the victim.

The suitcase was found by passers-by just off the A628 road in Tintwistle, Derbyshire, in October.

Mr Lui's other body parts were never found.

Jiang showed no reaction as the verdict was delivered by a jury at Minshull Street Crown Court after about five hours of deliberations.

During the four-week trial, he had denied wrongdoing.

Both Jiang and his victim were gamblers, but in different economic circumstances.

Mr Lui was well off and could afford his gambling habit, while Jiang was described by the prosecution as an "insatiable gambler" who could not pay off his debts and was being chased by creditors.

He had accumulated losses of £273,000, according to records from casinos in Manchester.

The prosecution said he had plotted to kill his friend to assume his identity, sell his flat and get his money.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said Jiang murdered his friend sometime after 4 October, cut off his head and limbs and put his torso in a Samsonite suitcase, which he left in a remote lay-by on the Pennine moors between Manchester and Sheffield.

He set the case alight, then used Mr Lui's credit card to withdraw £800 to gamble at a Manchester casino, the trial heard.

Jiang gave conflicting accounts, saying at one point that he and his friend were gay lovers and that Mr Lui worked as an escort paid to have sex with older Chinese men.

He also said his friend had died at the hands of "shadowy underworld figures" in a dispute over gambling.

He will be sentenced on Tuesday.