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Teen jailed for life for motiveless killing of Preston jogger

Posted on - 12th June, 2017 - 4:19pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Lancashire Police, News
Nathan Richardson was jailed for life today (June 12)

A teenager who stripped, kicked and stamped a jogger to death in a motiveless attack has been jailed for life today (June 12).

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Wen Qing Xu, 65, was set upon by Nathan Richardson as he went for a New Year’s Day run at around 8.30am in Preston.

Mr Xu was found stripped from the waist down with only a running vest pulled up over his head on land behind Plungington Community Centre.

He suffered more than 28 injuries to his head, neck and genitals with his mouth so badly injured paramedics at first thought he was wearing false teeth.

Witnesses saw his killer, Nathan Richardson, 19, dragging what they thought was a rolled up carpet – but later learned was Mr Xu.

Handing down a sentence of life imprisonment at Preston Crown Court, The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, told Richardson: “This was undoubtedly an unprovoked and very cruel attack on an entirely innocent man after you had taken alcohol and a cocktail of drugs at a party.

“He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“He was left dying, literally in the gutter.”

Picture of Wen Qing Xu, killed on New Year’s Day

Following the attack, Richardson washed and changed his clothes at the house of his friend Luke Jenkinson, 23, in De Lacy Street, close to the scene of the attack.

He later told friends he had “killed sum Chinese guy near Plungy Youth” and was “going jail.”

One friend said Jenkinson was laughing and buzzing when he learned the attack on Mr Xu had killed him.

Richardson said: “I’ve just done some guy. I’ve back-handed him. He weren’t moving, I’ve done him.

“I kicked and stamped on his head a few times. I pulled his pants down and pulled him by the balls.”

However he later denied dragging Mr Xu’s genitals and pathologist reports suggested his injuries were as a result of kicking.

Read more: Two men jailed for assault that caused bleed on the brain

At around 7.30pm, Richardson went to his mother’s house and confessed he had killed someone – although he told his sister Mr Xu had hit him first.

The family called the police and Richardson was arrested on the canal towpath behind Stocks Road, Ashton-on-Ribble.

On New Year’s Eve, Richardson had been at a house party in Eversleigh Street, drinking and taking cocaine.

He left at 7.45am, carrying a plastic bottle of cider.

Mr Xu, who moved to Preston from China with his wife in July 2016 to join their daughter Diana – a former UCLan student, set off for his usual morning run to Moor Park, but encountered Richardson at the junction of Brook Street and Aqueduct Street.

A witness saw Richardson arguing with Mr Xu.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said: “This was a chance encounter. The motive remains a mystery.”

Following the attack, Richardson was seen “hysterical”, running down De Lacy Street towards Jenkinson’s house, shouting “I think I’ve fucking killed someone.”

Luke Jenkinson was jailed for 33 months

Mr Xu was found by two men who had been at a nearby social club. He was struggling for breath and had gone into cardiac arrest.

He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10.08am.

The court heard Richardson, of no fixed address but formerly of Bury Road, Bolton, has a personality disorder and significant learning difficulties and was removed from school at the age of 12.

More: Appeal for witnesses after New Year’s Day murder

He has a lengthy criminal record including attacks on police officers and drunken disorderly behaviour but has never been to jail before.

Judge Brown said: “Grave crimes such as this cast long shadows on people’s lives and there can be no doubt that Mr Xu’s family will have been deprived of the love, support and companionship he would have given them in the years ahead of him.

“Such is the stress that his family have found it difficult to put into words the impact of his death upon them but it is clear from Mrs Xu’s presence in court and the distress written on her face that the impact upon her and her daughter simply can not be calculated.”

Richardson was jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years after pleading guilty to murder.

Jenkinson was jailed for 33 months for assisting an offender – although the judge accepted he did not know the severity of the crime when he allowed Richardson to wash his clothes at his house.

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