BBC reports:

Detectives investigating the murders of a Chinese couple in Newcastle have offered a £5,000 reward to bring their killers to justice.

Zhen Xing Yang and girlfriend Xi Zhou, both 25, were found dead at the flat they shared on 9 August.

Det Supt Steve Wade, who is leading the inquiry, said police were keen for information on the couple’s last days.

He made a direct appeal to Britain’s Chinese community at a special news conference in London.

Mr Wade, speaking at Charing Cross Road police station with a Mandarin and Cantonese translator, said: “I am today able to announce that a £5,000 reward is being offered for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

“Anyone with information about the murders of the two victims should contact Northumbria Police.”

The couple died after a “frenzied” knife attack at a flat in Croydon Road in the city’s West End.

Mr Zhen had been tortured before being stabbed to death and the couple’s cat was also drowned.

Police said the couple were involved in an internet football betting scam which took advantage of a time delay in the transmission of English football matches to China.

Mr Wade said forensic experts, who have almost completed their examination of the murder scene, had recovered hundreds of DNA, fingerprint and fibre samples as well as footprint evidence and other exhibits.

Lodger hunt

Thousands of hours of CCTV footage has been recovered from public and private cameras around the address and is now being studied, police said.

Officers are also examining the couple’s mobile phones, found inside the flat, to narrow down the timing of the killings and to look for fresh leads.

Mr Wade said: “Inquiries are continuing with police forces across the UK to establish if any links exist between the murders in Newcastle and any other part of the country.

“It is too early to give detailed information, but at this time we do not appear to have any similar murder inquiries throughout the country.”

He said officers were still trying to trace a male lodger who they say rented a room from the pair a week before they died.

He did not rule out the possibility that the man may become a prime suspect as the investigation progresses.

Police now believe the killers would have left by the front door of the flat some time between the afternoon of 7 August and when the bodies were discovered by friends two days later.