Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 15:32 UK

Casino murder court appeal fails

Philip Hung Chan
Philip Hung Chan managed a Northampton Chinese restaurant

A restaurateur jailed over a casino murder has failed in a High Court appeal against his conviction.

Phillip Hung San Chan, 61, of Thomas Chapman Grove, Far Cotton, Northampton, was jailed for life in July 2003.

Chan had been convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of the murder of Mann Chung Li, 46, in a casino in the city.

The High Court accepted Chan had not wielded the knife but was convicted on the basis of his "joint enterprise" involvement in the crime.

Mr Li was stabbed to death at Birmingham's China Palace Casino as violence erupted between two rival gangs.

Mr Justice Plender - sitting at London's appeal court with Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Judge Michael Stokes QC - rejected Chan's challenge to his conviction, dismissing arguments that the trial judge gave the jury flawed directions on the question of Chan's "good character".

Chan was jailed for life for the murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years before he can apply for parole.

Two other men - Feng-Ching Lim, 30, of Hazelwell, Ford Rough, Stirchley, Birmingham, and Jian Chen, 26, of Hawley Street, Margate, Kent - were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years respectively for attempted murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.


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