10 May 2013
Judge’s fury as quadruple murder suspect Anxiang Du’s court date adjourned
A court hearing for the Chinese businessman accused of stabbing a family of four to death in Northampton was adjourned today because there was no Mandarin interpreter sent to the proceedings.
The high court judge, Mr Justice Julian Flaux hit out at the outsourcing company providing the interpreters, Capita, labelling them “an absolute disgrace”.
During the hearing at Nottingham Crown Court, at which Anxiang Du was present, the High Court Judge explained he had asked for an interpreter to be booked. However, he said the firm indicated that it was not worth sending one as they “would not make enough money” from the hearing.
The court heard the firm had been ordered to send an interpreter, but when the hearing started at 2pm today there was no interpreter present and therefore no pleas were entered.
He said: “To say that the presiding judge of the court is annoyed about this is an understatement.”
Instead the case was adjourned for a fresh plea and management hearing to be held at Northampton Crown Court on July 19.
Judge Flaux also ordered a written explanation from Capita to give their account about today’s proceedings.
Du, aged 54, is accused of murdering university lecturer Jifeng “Jeff” Ding, his wife Ge “Helen” Chui and their two daughters, Alice, 12, and Xing, 18 in May 2011,
Judge Flaux indicated he would hear a potential trial on November 12, also in Northampton.
The Ding family were found stabbed to death at their home in Wootton on April 29 2011 - the day of the Royal Wedding.
Du, who wore a blue shirt at today’s brief hearing where he was flanked by five security officers, was formally arrested in February after being extradited to the UK from Morocco.
His extradition was approved by the Moroccan Ministry of Justice and the Home Office in the UK and he was flown back from Casablanca.
He arrived at Heathrow Airport and was taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police.
At a preliminary hearing at Northampton Crown Court just days later, Judge Rupert Mayo told Du he faced charges of the “utmost gravity”.
Judge Flaux said the original trial date was set for July 29 in Northampton, but because a circuit judge cannot try the case it had to be pushed back to November before a High Court Judge.
He told the court: “Unfortunately Judge Mayo had not appreciated that given the nature of the case, it was a case that wouldn’t be released to a circuit judge. It had to be tried by a High Court Judge.”
The Mandarin interpreter did eventually arrive at about 2.30pm, but the hearing had already been adjourned and she left the court precincts soon afterwards.