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Takeaway owner who murdered woman in 1997 jailed

Zhi Min Chen choked Tracy Wylde to death at her flat in Glasgow in November 1997.

Tracy Wylde was murdered by Zhi Min Chen.
Tracy Wylde was murdered by Zhi Min Chen. Police Scotland

A takeaway owner has been jailed for at least 20 years after murdering a woman in Glasgow more than two decades ago.

Zhi Min Chen, 44, choked Tracy Wylde to death after they argued at her flat in Barmulloch in November 1997.

A judge described the killing as "brutal and cowardly" during sentencing on Friday.

The body of the 21-year-old mum, who had latterly been working as a prostitute and counted Chen as a client, was discovered the morning after she died.

A large-scale manhunt to catch the killer - initially lasting two-and-a-half years - proved fruitless.

Chinese-born Chen meantime continued to live in Glasgow, getting married and having children, and also set up a fast-food restaurant in Anniesland.

A cold-case review in 2013 also brought no joy, however police struck lucky last summer after Chen was held for an alleged assault in Cowcaddens.

His DNA matched samples found at the scene and led to the dad-of-two being charged with her death.

He pleaded guilty to murder at the High Court in Glasgow last month and was today handed a mandatory life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

Lord Arthurson told him: "You should be under no illusions concerning the damage and trauma you murderous attack has caused down the decades and beyond to her family.

"You ... proceeded to enjoy the prime years of your adult life in undetected freedom including establishing a family and a business during those years.

"You committed a brutal, cowardly and murderous attack on a vulnerable young woman in her own home."

Body found after missed appointment

Ms Wylde was described as having a "turbulent background" and had been a sex worker at the time of her death.

On November 23, 1997, she ventured out into Glasgow and was last spotted on CCTV around 3.20am the next morning in the city's red-light area.

It was about 4.40am when neighbour Mary McAnemy heard arguing in Ms Wylde's flat. She then heard Ms Wylde's door being slammed shut and keys being rattled.

The alarm was eventually raised when Ms Wylde failed to show for an appointment at a support group.

Ms McAnemy then made the grim discovery after gaining entry into Ms Wylde's home with help from a visiting support worker.

She was discovered lying on her back with a dressing gown over her body. There were marks and bruising around her neck.

The cause of death was found to be "manual strangulation".

Snared by fingerprints after assaults

Chen was eventually caught after he was held for two assaults in July 2018.

His fingerprints were found as being a match with the unidentified fingerprints from the 1997 murder scene.

Chen was quizzed and admitted that he used the services of prostitutes, but denied any involvement in the killing until pleading guilty.

Family 'disappointed' by sentence

Speaking outside court, Ms Wylde's sister said the family were disappointed with the sentence.

Bernadette McCash, who was 12 when Ms Wylde was murdered, said: "I don't feel it was enough time. As a family we are really disappointed in the sentence.

"It would have been longer - I mean he ran for longer, he hid for longer, so it's kind of a slap in the face.

"No time is ever going to be enough. I mean, I lost my sister. I'll never get her back. Life will never be normal for us as a family ever again."

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