Perth: Ex-husband, daughter jailed over body in suitcase murder

The Swan River.
The Swan River.

A MAN convicted of murdering his ex-wife, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Perth’s Swan River, has been sentenced to life behind bars with a minimum of 20 years.

The victim’s daughter has also been sentenced to four years and 10 months in jail for attempting to cover up the crime.

Tiffany Yiting Wan, 27, and her father Ah Ping Ban, 69, stood trial in the West Australian Supreme Court accused of murdering 58-year-old Annabelle Chen at her Mosman Park home in 2016, but the jury only convicted Ban of the more serious crime.

The pair had blamed each other for Ms Chen’s death.

Ban had claimed Ms Chen was already dead when he arrived in Perth from Singapore on June 30 and he only helped dispose of the body at the Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

But Wan testified she heard Ms Chen scream and a “loud metallic thud” sound, then her father later confessed to killing his former wife with a cast-iron paperweight.

Justice Joseph McGrath accepted Ban did not show up at his ex-wife’s house with an intention to murder her, but during an argument he repeatedly struck her with a blunt object and had showed no remorse.

He rejected Wan’s claim that her father drugged her, but accepted she acted out of misguided loyalty to her father when she helped cover up the crime.

Wan, who has been living in Melbourne, cried several times during the trial, including when the court was shown X-ray images of her mother’s head injuries, and while she was giving evidence.

She admitted lying in her police statement, as well as sending Ms Chen messages after she knew her mother was dead.

Ms Chen’s identity remained a mystery for two months until Wan reported her missing.

Wan must serve at least two years and 10 months in prison before she can be eligible for parole.