A MAN who was jailed for life for murdering a woman 20 years ago has succeeded in having four years cut from the punishment part of his sentence.

Zhi Min Chen, 44, chocked Tracey Wylde, 21, to death at her flat in Barmulloch, Glasgow in November 1997.

He was told by judge Lord Arthurson at the High Court in Glasgow that he would have to serve at least 20 years before he could apply for parole.

Lord Arthurson passed the sentence after hearing how Chen, a Chinese immigrant, panicked in the aftermath of taking Tracey’s life.

The court heard how he thought Scottish detectives would send him back to China where he would have to deal with corrupt police officers.

Donald Findlay QC, for Chen, told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that Lord Arthurson had misinterpreted the law in fixing the punishment part.

Mr Findlay argued that people in similar positions to Chen, who has no previous convictions, didn’t receive as lengthy a punishment part as his client had.

He told appeal judges Lord Menzies, Lord Drummond Young and Lord Glennie that Chen’s sentence should be reduced to bring it into line with other offenders who were convicted in similar circumstances of comparable crimes.

The appeal judges agreed and told Chen he’d serve at least 16 years before he could apply for parole.

Chen, of Anniesland, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to murdering Tracey at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year.