Annabelle Chen: man appeals ‘body in suitcase’ murder conviction

Annabelle Chen.
Annabelle Chen.

A BANKRUPT businessman who was found guilty of murdering his ex-wife, stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it in Perth’s Swan River is appealing his conviction.

Ah Ping Ban, 69, was found guilty of murdering 58-year-old Annabelle Chen at her Mosman Park home in 2016 by bashing her with a blunt object, then using a scooter with a breadboard attached to move the luggage.

Ban was sentenced in the West Australian Supreme Court last month to life behind bars with a minimum of 20 years, but has lodged an appeal against his murder conviction.

The former couple’s daughter, 27-year-old Tiffany Yiting Wan, was found guilty of being an accessory and sentenced to four years and 10 months in jail.

At the trial, the pair blamed each other for the killing.

Ban claimed Ms Chen was already dead when he arrived in Perth from Singapore on June 30 and he only helped dispose 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 ex-wife with a cast iron paperweight.

Justice Joseph McGrath accepted Ban did not go to Ms Chen’s house intending to harm her, but during an argument he repeatedly struck her, causing 25 head injuries.

After the murder, Ban and Wan returned to their respective homes in Singapore and Melbourne.

Two fishermen found Ms Chen’s body days later, but her identity remained a mystery for two months until Wan reported her missing.