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Shiney Row burning body murder pair get whole-life jail terms

image copyrightFamily Handout/Northumbria Police
image captionQuyen Ngoc Nguyen had lived in the UK since 2010

Two killers who went on to torture and set fire to a Vietnamese woman have been given whole-life jail terms.

Quyen Ngoc Nguyen's body was discovered in a burning car in Shiney Row, near Sunderland, in August 2017.

Stephen Unwin, 40, of Houghton-le-Spring, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of her rape and murder.

William McFall, 51, who is from Northern Ireland but lived in Blackpool, was found guilty of murder but cleared of rape.

The pair first met in jail while serving life terms for separate murders and made contact again after being released.

During their trial, the jury was told they held nail technician Ms Nguyen captive and tortured her into revealing her bank card PINs after luring her to Unwin's home.

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A Home Office pathologist said he could not say "with certainty" whether the 28-year-old mother of two was alive when they put her in the car, but the fire was the "most likely the cause of death".

image copyrightNorthumbria Police
image captionStephen Unwin (left) and William McFall were described as "evil" by their victim's sister

Mr Justice Morris described Unwin as a "calculating, manipulating and ruthless killer" and branded McFall "an extremely violent man capable of monstrous behaviour".

Explaining his decision to sentence them to whole-life terms, he said they had murdered Ms Nguyen in a "cold-blooded and callous manner" having deliberately lulled her "into a trap".

He added: "She suffered an unimaginable ordeal.

"Both during and after that ordeal, the two of you casually went about your everyday task, chillingly devoid of human empathy."

'Horrific death'

The court heard the pair ate curry as Ms Nguyen lay injured and motionless on the floor before they dumped her in the burning car by allotments.

The pair took £1,000 from her bank accounts.

Ms Nguyen had arrived in the UK in 2010 from Vietnam to help her sister Quynh run a nail salon in Gateshead and the pair lived together in Killingworth, North Tyneside.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Quynh said: "She did not deserve to die in this horrific manner.

"They did not act like human beings. They are evil."

image copyrightNorthumbria Police
image captionCCTV showed Unwin at a Co-op store with Miss Nguyen's bank card

Unwin had been released on licence in December 2012 having battered a pensioner to death during a break-in on Christmas Day 1998 in Houghton-le-Spring.

The fire he started to cover his tracks meant the victim could only be identified by his medical records.

McFall was released on licence in October 2010 after killing a pensioner with a hammer when she disturbed him breaking into her home in Greenisland, Northern Ireland, in May 1996.

Related Topics

  • Shiney Row
  • Houghton-Le-Spring
  • Blackpool
  • Killingworth

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