A Vietnamese restaurant worker accused of using a “giant pestle’” to bludgeon a 74-year-old ‘love rival’ to death has been cleared of murder at the Old Bailey.
Tran Quang Hung, 38, was charged with beating his former landlord, Ngoc Giam Dang to death on July 3 as Dang slept in his bed at his flat in Geffrye Court, Hackney.
A heavy tool with a rounded end, usually used for crushing and grinding substances, was used to inflict the fatal injuries on Dang, fracturing his eye socket, cheekbone and skull.
Upon later analysis the murder weapon was found to hold the victim’s DNA but not that of the defendant.
Hung admitted sneaking into the property on the night of the murder, but maintained his only purpose was to have sex with Dang’s 48-year-old wife. The victim was already dead by the time arrived, he said.
It is understood that Hung used to be a lodger at the flat but relationships soured after Dang began to suspect that Hung was having an affair with his wife, Phu Hang Pham.
Pham, whose arm was injured in the attack, told the court that she was just good friends with Hung.
The court was informed it was “beyond dispute” there had been “bad blood” between the two men in the past . Hung was caught on CCTV in the vicinity of the flat at 01:02 am and was seen leaving five minutes later.
The jury came to a unanimous verdict of not guilty after two days of deliberation.
Detectives continue to appeal for information and witnesses following the murder.
Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward and call the incident room on 0208 345 2715, or to remain anonymous and call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.