A woman who is claiming a portion of the estate of a slain West Vancouver millionaire began her testimony in court Monday.
The woman, who can only be identified as Mother 1 due to a publication ban, is claiming that she gave birth to a child with Gang Yuan, 42, whose body was found chopped up into 100 pieces in the businessman’s British Properties home in May 2015 and who died without a will.
She told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elliott Myers that she met Yuan in China in May 2004 when she was a teen and Yuan was 30 years old and began living together several months later in Yuan’s parent’s home.
“I felt like he was like a very caring person, like he was very caring to me, and he rather spoiled me,” she said.
In addition to Mother 1, there is a second woman, identified as Mother 2, who is making claims on the murder victim’s $16-million estate along with five children, all born to different women.
Mother 1, who says she is the mother of a young boy with Yuan, told the court that the couple’s relationship was “like husband and wife.”
Under questioning from her lawyer, Ben Ingram, she told the judge that she initially became pregnant from her relationship with Yuan in 2004, but that they decided to have an abortion because she was so young and because of health issues.
Starting in 2005, Yuan wanted to immigrate to Canada and was also planning to marry another woman, said the witness.
She said she moved out of Yuan’s parent’s home in December 2004 and went along with Yuan’s plans to move to Canada and marry the other woman.
Asked whether she was concerned that Yuan might have nothing further to do with her, she said: “No, I was still trusting him.”
The plaintiff said she didn’t sleep with Yuan in 2005, but kept in contact with him and visited his parents occasionally. She said that she did not date any other men and even though they were not living together, she and Yuan still considered themselves husband and wife.
In 2007, she said she moved back in with Yuan after he went through a “divorce procedure” with the other woman and discussed the possibility of getting married.
Ingram earlier told the court that Yuan married the other woman, who was living in Canada at the time, and had her sponsor him to come to Canada before divorcing her.
“We were planning to get married in Canada because he had just started his permanent residence,” said Mother 1. “So we wanted to wait a little while before we got married.”
She said the second pregnancy that led to the birth of their boy was planned and they discussed the matter when she moved back in with him.
“When I found out I was pregnant, all the family members were excited and Mr. Yuan was particularly happy.”
Mother 1 is expected to continue her testimony Tuesday. The trial also heard that there will be an application Tuesday to call as a witness Li Zhao, who has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder of Yuan.
Zhao’s criminal trial is expected to conclude next week. The criminal trial heard Zhao confessing to police that he fatally shot Yuan after an argument, dragging the body from the driveway into the garage where he used a power saw to cut up the body.
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