Murdered woman’s sister: How can killers live freely in this country?
Quyen Ngoc Nguyen was killed after a four-hour ordeal at the hands of two men who had served previous convictions for murder.
The sister of a woman who was tortured and murdered by two convicted killers told a court she could not understand how they were freed on licence.
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.
The victim’s sister, Quynh Ngoc Nguyen, 35, 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.
Mr Justice Morris must decide whether Unwin and McFall, who is originally from Northern Ireland, will ever be freed.
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.
In cases where a defendant has been convicted or murder for a second time normally the starting point for sentence would be a whole life order. Jamie Hill QC
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 or 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 she 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 to obtain 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 attributes his involvement in this terrible incident to his weakening to Mr Unwin’s charms.”
The judge will sentence the pair at 1.45pm.