Aussie Man Slays His Own Niece Because “She Was a Pretty Girl”
A disturbing real life horror
Derek Barrett admitted in court to killing Mengmei Leng in April 2016. The murder took place at the home they shared with his wife and stepdaughter — who were out of town at the time. Derek, an IT worker, claimed hat he did not remember the murder because he was high on ice and synthetic cannabis, which caused a two-day long gap in his memory.
Derek also pleaded guilty to a further 21 offenses relating to filming Mengmei for sexual purposes. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Derek said the following during his day in court in Aug. 2017:
“AlI I remember is an argument. I remember seeing myself in the reflection of a mirror and looking down at blood in the sink. It’s almost like I was waking up in the bathroom … there was a lot of blood.”
“I don’t remember the actual stabbing itself or anything leading into the stabbing,” he added.
More Than Murder
What could pieced together of the incident was that Derek gagged and bound Mengmei to her bed in the early hours of April 22.
“I remember a scared face on the bed[…] she was yelling something back at me. I think she may have been cursing at me. I said ‘I’m so sorry,'” Derek told the court.
He then tied her up with tape and took 19 photographs of her exposed body, including close-up photos of her genitals. At some point over the next two days, Derek stabbed Mengmei a reported 40 times.
On the morning of April 24, he wrapped Mengmei’s corpse in a plastic tarp and drove to Snapper Point, where he dumped her remains over a cliff.
On April 25, Derek and Mengmei’s aunt went to the police to report her missing.
A Better Life
Mei Zhang, 50, sold her family’s fortune in China to give her daughter, Mengmei Leng, a better education and future in Australia. Mengmei had two degrees and was sending money home to her mother in China. “Now that my child is gone, my whole life is shattered,” Mengmei’s heartbroken mother wrote in a letter to be read in court.
“I don’t think devastated properly describes it. It’s very difficult and even more traumatic for her family that are so far away at this time,” Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin told The Daily Telagraph.
“I betrayed my own family and hers for my actions. I disgust myself. She was a pretty girl,” Derek said in the court room.
Justice Helen Wilson sentenced Derek to 46 years — 34 and a half of which must be served with no chance of parole — for murdering Mengmei Leng. Justice Wilson described it as a “despicable crime of extreme brutality and great wickedness.”
“It was a depraved and sadistic act committed by a man in a position of trust by Ms. Leng and in a place that should have been one of safety and refuge,” she added.
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