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Camden News - by DAN CARRIER
Published: 5 February 2009

Wang Yam caught on CCTV
Old Bailey judge gives writer’s killer 20-year prison sentence

Man convicted of Chappelow murder protests his innocence and ‘will appeal’

THE man convicted of murdering Hampstead writer Allan Chappelow continued to protest his innocence as he was handed a 20-year sentence at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Wang Yam, 47, was found guilty two weeks ago of killing the reclusive pensioner in his Downshire Hill home in the summer of 2006.
While he denies all charges against him, Yam was convicted of killing Mr Chappelow, beating him to death at a time when he was milking his victim’s bank accounts for money.
A solicitor acting for the defendant said after the sentencing hearing: “Wang Yam continues to maintain his innocence of the murder of Allan Chappelow and has instructed us to lodge an appeal.”
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Devlin, who led the investigation, told the New Journal that Yam was a “con man” and revealed officers had spotted Yam on a bookshop CCTV camera as he bought two computer manuals using Mr Chappelow’s credit card.
He added that officers searched thoroughly for mysterious gangsters Yam had attempted to place the blame on for the killing. Yam had alleged in his defence he had been set up by a trio of criminals he had unwittingly become involved with.
The bankrupt Chinese businessman listened ­quietly as Mr Justice Ouseley heard his defence team argue for a lower ­tariff as they said the Crown accepted the crime was not premeditated.
Yam has already served 850 days on remand, which will be deducted from his sentence. His defence barristers said he had been under incredible strain at the time the crime was committed.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Ouseley addressed Yam and said: “Allan Chappelow, 86, was was beaten to death in his own home. He received five severe blows to his head and further blows to his neck and ribs. I have no doubt that these blows were inflicted with the intent to kill.”
For 30 minutes the court was held in secret while the defence team spoke to Mr Justice Ouseley.
The judge told the court after sentencing that any speculation on what was discussed in camera would be in contempt of court.

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