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Hon Cheong Chu, from Barming, Maidstone, 'ordered wife Lydie to kill her family'

A "dominant and controlling” husband who kept an arsenal of guns and ammunition at his Maidstone home ordered his wife to go to Hong Kong and kill members of her family, a court heard.

Hon Cheong Chu told his wife Lydie to kill herself after wiping out her mother, sister, her sister’s husband and their son.

He also said he would kill their own son if she failed, it was alleged.

Armed police at the home in Barming at the time
Armed police at the home in Barming at the time

Mrs Chu put up with 20 years of domestic abuse before she finally confided in a friend whose stepfather was a retired police officer.

Police marksmen then raided the couple’s three-storey home in Tarragon Road, Barming, in March 2014, and seized six firearms, a large amount of expanding ammunition, swords and a garrotte.

"Her husband was absolutely dominant and controlling. He hated her and her family" - John O'Higgins, prosecuting

Bearded Chu, 55, denies soliciting murder, 12 charges of possessing expanding ammunition, two of assault causing actual bodily harm, four of possessing a prohibited firearm, making a threat to kill, possessing a disguised firearm, and possessing a firearm without a certificate.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the story unfolded after customers at gift shop Destinys in the Royal Arcade in the town, where Mrs Chu, 48, worked, became worried about her.

Prosecutor John O’Higgins said: “She disclosed she had been the victim of domestic violence for a long time, but it went much further than that.

“Her husband was absolutely dominant and controlling. He hated her and her family. He demanded absolute obedience.

Armed officers outside the house
Armed officers outside the house

"He had a collection of firearms. She lived in fear of him. He developed a morbid obsession with killing her family in Hong Kong. She kept hoping he would relent, but it was apparent he was deadly serious.”

She met Chu in Hong Kong in 1987. At first they were happy. But his attitude changed when he discovered she had other relationships before they met.

“He began to treat her with contempt,” Mr O’Higgins told the jury of seven women and five men. “He felt she had dishonoured him and his family.”

The trial continues.

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