Man jailed for young mother’s murder in 1997

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Zhi Min Chen has been jailed for the 1997 murder (John Linton/PA)

A man who strangled a young mother and evaded justice for more than two decades ago has been jailed for at least 20 years.

Zhi Min Chen was arrested last year by police investigating the death of 21-year-old Tracy Wylde, who was found dead in her in Barmulloch flat in November 1997.

He pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow in April and on Friday was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.

Lord Arthurson told the killer, 44, he had caused decades of damage and trauma to Ms Wylde’s relatives – not least her daughter who was three years old when her mother was murdered – while going onto enjoy a family life himself.

In a sentencing statement released following the hearing, the judge said: “You committed a brutal, cowardly and murderous attack on a vulnerable young woman in her own home.

“You then fled the scene, taking care to remove Ms Wylde’s house keys and to lock the flat door behind you, and you have since avoided justice for two decades.”

Lord Arthurson went on: “Having inflicted this terrible loss upon the family of your victim, which was surely exacerbated by the many years which they have endured of not knowing who took the life of their loved one and in what circumstances, have proceeded to enjoy the prime years of your adult life in undetected freedom, including establishing a family and a business during those years.”

The sentence was backdated to July 11 last year when the businessman was remanded in custody.

He was snared after being held by police in Glasgow in connection with another alleged offence.

Following his guilty plea, police said Ms Wylde’s family had “never lost faith” that her killer would be brought to justice.

Detective Inspector Gordon MacKenzie said previously: “It is a real shame that Tracy’s mother Fay, who died a couple of years ago, is not here to see her daughter’s killer held accountable.

“The conclusion of this case sends an important message regarding Police Scotland’s commitment to unresolved murders.

“These cases will always be a key priority and our specialist detectives will continue to use the latest advances in technology and any new information which comes to light to provide answers for the families of victims and bring their killers to justice.”

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