“Everything is gone”. This is how grandfather Yang Fei Lin described the moment he discovered hearing about the killing of five family members.
The morning after five members of his family were murdered, grandfather Yang Fei Li received a call from the alleged killer telling him “something terrible has happened”.
He began silently praying for everything to be okay.
It wasn’t long until he discovered “everything was gone”.
Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Lin told the Supreme Court on Tuesday about the day he learnt his son Min Lin, 45, his wife Lily, 44, her sister Irene, 39, and his grandchildren Henry, 12, and Terry, nine, had been killed in their North Epping home.
He said the night before the discovery on July 18 2009, had been spent like any other Friday family get together at the grandparents’ house.
His grandson Henry complained of having broken shoes, and his wife, Feng Qing Zhu had given him $50 for winning a badminton competition.
Mrs Zhu had even tried to get Henry to stay the night but the 12-year-old said he needed to play the sport first thing in the morning.
All in all, it was a harmonious, quiet, normal night, Mr Lin added.
The next morning, everything changed.
He got a call from their son-in-law Lian Bin “Robert” Xie, saying, “something terrible has happened to the Lin family,” Mr Lin recounted.
“I asked, `What happened? He said, `I can’t say it now … get here by train as soon as possible’.”
After Xie agreed to pick him and his wife up, Mr Lin recalled: “I didn’t say anything even when I was in his car; I was silently praying that nothing bad had happened to my family.”
Xie has been accused of carrying out the five murders with a “hammer-like” weapon. He has pleaded not guilty.
When they arrived at the Lin family home in Sydney’s northwest, Mr Lin said he was told Lily, her sister Irene and the two children had died.
At this stage, however, his son Min’s death had not been confirmed.
“I was always wondering if my son Min had been abducted,” Mr Lin said.
It was only when the family were later taken to hospital to see a social worker that they were told nobody had survived.
“We were really heartbroken. Very sad. Everything is gone,” Mr Lin said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Lin told the court that before the “five members of my son’s family were murdered we had a normal and good relationship with my daughter (Kathy) and her husband”.
However, after the killings he said disputes concerning his son’s inheritance and the guardianship of the sole surviving member of the Lin family began.
The trial continues.