Pair Guilty Of Shiney Row Murder
27 March 2018, 16:03
Two men have been convicted of teaming up to torture and murder a woman before setting her body on fire in Sunderland.
Maintenance men Stephen Unwin, 40, and William McFall, 51, put Quyen Ngoc Nguyen through an unimaginable four hour ordeal after she was lured to Unwin's home in Shiney Row, Tyne and Wear.
Unwin was also convicted of her rape.
But McFall, who even posed for a grinning selfie after the pair had committed their depraved and greed-fuelled crime, was cleared of the rape charge.
The Newcastle Crown Court jury of eight women and four men deliberated for four hours before reaching their verdicts.
The victim's sister Quyhn Ngoc Nguyen wept in the public gallery, holding a framed photo of her sibling, as she waited for the verdicts.
Firefighters discovered Ms Nguyen's badly burned body in the back of her Audi after it had been torched beside allotments last August.
The jury heard how her killers ate a curry they had cooked as their victim lay dying in the house.
The mother-of-two worked at her sister's nail bar but also helped Vietnamese people find accommodation when she came across Unwin, who worked for landlords maintaining properties.
She would not have known he was a life prisoner out on licence for murdering a pensioner in 1998.
Tellingly, he also set fire to his elderly victim's house in a bid to cover his tracks.
McFall, who is from Northern Ireland, also murdered a pensioner during a 1996 break-in.
The killers met in the prison system at HMP Swaleside, a Category B institution, in Kent. They got in touch via Facebook after they were both released on licence.
They teamed up, working together legitimately, but also stealing cannabis from farms they found in local properties.
They planned their depraved attack on the 5ft victim and Unwin tricked her into coming into his home, where McFall was waiting.
The Irishman had texted Unwin earlier that evening saying: "We raping the chink"?
Before she was sexually assaulted, raped and killed, she had been forced to hand over her PINs and Unwin withdrew £1,000 from her bank accounts at cashpoints that night.
Each of the defendants blamed the other, seemingly hoping to confuse the jury.
McFall wrote to Unwin while they were on remand saying he had been to the prison library and found a "legal loophole" despite what he admitted was damning evidence.
The prosecution claimed their loophole was simply to blame one another.
After the trial, the victim's sister branded the killers "evil" and said they should never be released.
In a statement, she said: "I believe that if these two people were released at some point in the future, then definitely some innocent people could be harmed.
"I think they should never be released, they are evil."
David Hines, founder of the National Victims' Association, said: "A life sentence should mean a minimum of 40 years behind bars."