Nai Yin Xue
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NZ Herald story 31st July 2009
There was no reaction from a stony-faced Nai Yin Xue as he was told today he would face a minimum of 12 years behind bars for the murder of his wife. His lawyer has already indicated that he will appeal the sentence and could file papers in the High Court today. The body of An An Liu was found in the boot of the family car outside the couple's Mt Roskill home in September 2007. She had died after being strangled. At Xue's trial last month, he yelled out "disagree, disagree," to the jury after they found him guilty, but today there was no reaction from him as Justice Hugh Williams delivered his sentence of a minimum 12 years non-parole in prison.
The Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins had said Xue deserved more than the statutory period of 10 years non-parole for murder. He said Xue had a history of violence and his wife had lived in a "climate of fear". Mr Perkins said Xue's decision to abandon his daughter, the then three year-old Qian Xun, in Melbourne without identification made her a victim of the murder. Xue's lawyer Chris Comeskey said there were no factors in the case to support Xue serving a sentence of longer than ten years. "Ten years is not, in anyone's estimation, a short sentence," Mr Comeskey said.
He said the abandonment of Xue's daughter was "extremely unfortunate" but it was a busy railway station and Qian Xun was found in four minutes. In his sentencing, Justice Williams told Xue that because of the previous violence he had subjected his wife to - including a trip he made to Wellington to find her, when he took an axe - Xue would receive more than the minimum non-parole period. Justice Williams also made mention of Xue's actions following the murder, which included abandoning his daughter overseas without her passport and with no means of identification.
He said a letter from Madam Liu, An An Liu's mother, expressed "devastation and an immense sense of loss" at the murder of her daughter and the "bewilderment" of Qian Xun at the sudden absence of her mother. Justice Williams said it is obvious Xue takes no responsibility for the murder. "The jury must have regarded it as incredible the suggestion of coincidence that your wife died at about the time you decided to leave New Zealand, then Australia, with as much money as possible," Justice Williams said. Outside court, Xue's lawyer Chris Comeskey told the media that his client "maintains that in no way is he responsible for the death".
Mr Comeskey said his client will be appealing the sentence and that papers may be filed today. "There is significant evidence pointing away from him," Mr Comeskey said. He mentioned DNA evidence found on An An Liu's underpants, which pointed to another man. Asked about his client's lack of reaction at the 12-year sentence handed down, Mr Comeskey said: "Your never know what the verdict is going to be but you know when you turn up to a sentence, that you're going to receive a sentence." Asked why Xue abandoned his daughter, Mr Comeskey said: "He will regret leaving his daughter at a train station in Melbourne for the rest of his life."
Date of Birth
Murdered his wife An An Liu in Auckland on 11th September 2007 before abandoning his three year old daughter Qian Xun "Pumpkin" Xue in Melbourne
Had prior conviction for assault on his wife only a few months earlier
Sentenced to life imprisonment with a 12 year minimum non-parole period in July 2009
Eligible for parole March 2020
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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