Killers who tortured and murdered mother-of-two 'will never be freed'

Two convicted killers who tortured and murdered a Vietnamese mother-of-two while out on licence have been told they will never be freed.

Stephen Unwin, 40, and William McFall, 51, murdered Vietnamese nail technician Quyen Ngoc Nguyen after a four-hour ordeal and dumped her body in her car before torching it last August.

She had been lured to Unwin's home in Shiney Row near Sunderland, where McFall lay in wait, Newcastle Crown Court has heard.

Unwin went on to rape the 28-year-old who was just 5ft and weighed seven stone.

Quyen Ngoc Nguyen
Quyen Ngoc Nguyen

Mr Justice Morris ruled they should never be released, sentencing both to whole-life jail terms.

The judge said: "Stephen Unwin, you are a calculating, manipulating and ruthless killer.

"William John McFall, you are an extremely violent man capable of monstrous behaviour."

McFall shouted angrily from the dock: "That's your personal opinion."

The victim's sister, Quynh Ngoc Nguyen, 35, had earlier read a Victim Statement, saying: "We cannot comprehend how men like this can live freely in this country.

"My sister believed, as I did, that you came to this country for a safer life, with better opportunities for herself and her children."

She said their parents and her sister's two children had been left heartbroken by the actions of the murderers.

"They did not act like human beings, they are evil," she said.

Sergeant Jill Hall reads a statement outside court on behalf of Quyhn Ngoc Nguyen, centre left, holding a picture of her sister Quyen Ngoc Nguyen
Sergeant Jill Hall reads a statement outside court on behalf of Quyhn Ngoc Nguyen, centre left, holding a picture of her sister Quyen Ngoc Nguyen

Unwin had a history of setting fires to destroy evidence at the scenes of his crimes.

He battered a pensioner to death during a break-in at his home on Christmas Day 1998 and the fire he started to cover his tracks meant the victim could only be identified by his medical records.

Unwin admitted murder, was sentenced to life and was released on licence in December 2012.

He met McFall in the prison system where he was also serving life for murdering a pensioner.

McFall attacked his victim with a hammer after she disturbed him breaking into her home in Carrickfergus in May 1996. He was jailed for life and released on licence in October 2010.

Jamie Hill QC told the court: "In cases where a defendant has been convicted of murder for a second time, normally the starting point for sentence would be a whole life order.

"In the common parlance, life without parole."

The judge was asked to consider whether the murder was racially aggravated, as the killers swapped text messages including a reference to "raping the chink".

They ate curry as their victim lay lifeless on the floor before they dumped her in the burning car by allotments.

The killers took £1,000 from her bank accounts, having tortured her for the PINs.

Dapinder Singh QC, for Unwin, urged the judge not to impose a whole life tariff.

Nicholas Lumley QC, for McFall, said his client continued to deny the murder and regretted coming into contact with Unwin after his release as his life was "on track" in Blackpool.

The pair worked together in the North East maintaining properties for landlords, and also stealing cannabis from drugs farms.

Mr Lumley said: "He (McFall) attributes his involvement in this terrible incident to his weakening to Mr Unwin's charms."