Sunderland Echo - - Front page - By Echo Re­porter Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

Two men ac­cused of rap­ing and set­ting fire to a young mum formed their friend­ship while they were cell­mates serv­ing life sen­tences for sep­a­rate mur­ders, jurors have heard.

Stephen Unwin and Wil­liam McFall held Quyen Ngoc Nguyen, who was known as Anna, as their “cap­tive” dur­ing a hor­rific, four-hour or­deal at a house last Au­gust be­fore she and her Audi A4 were dumped and set on fire on a dirt track near Sun­der­land, it is claimed.

The 28-year-old nail salon worker’s badly burned body was found face down on the back seat when fire­fight­ers ex­tin­guished the blaze, which was started when Miss Nguyen may have been still alive.

Un win ,40, of St. Oswald’ s Ter­race, Hough ton, and McF all ,51, of Water­loo Road, Black­pool, are on trial at New­cas­tle Crown Court ac­cused of her rape and mur­der, which they both deny.

Pros­e­cu­tor Jamie Hill QC has told jurors about the “bad char­ac­ter” of the two men, which in­cludes them, sep­a­rately, set­ting fires and mur- de­r­ing peo­ple.

Jurors have been told the men met while serv­ing their life sen­tence­sat H MPS wale side in Kent.

They wrote to each other when they were sent to sep­a­ratepris­ons un­til they ended up at the same jail in East York­shire, while be­ing pre­pared for re­lease.

Dur­ing in­ter­views af­ter they were ar­rested over the killing of Miss Nguyen, both men de­nied any in­volve­ment in her mur­der.

McFall told them, in a pre­pared­state­ment :“I have a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for mur­der. I was re­leased on life li­cence on De­cem­ber 10, 2010, hav­ing served 14 years and seven months of a sen­tence for mur­der.

“I pleaded guilty to that of­fence and had no trial. I met Stephen Unwin around 2002 in HMP Swale­side on the Isle of Shep­pey in Kent.

“He was serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der. I again met him in prison in East York­shire, when we were both head­ing for re­lease. We lost touch in about 2010 but got back in touch in 2014/15.”

McFall, who was known as John, told de­tec­tives Unwin, who ran his own prop­erty main­te­nance firm af­ter his re­lease, would hire him to do paint­ing and dec­o­rat­ing work.

The killer told po­lice he loved the girl­friend he was see­ing at the time and added :“Prison has ob­vi­ously changed me a hello fa lot, for the bet­ter.”

The court heard McFall was con­victed of mur­der at Belfast Crown Court in April 1997. In May 1996, he broke into the home of 86-year-old Martha Gil­more, who had mo­bil­ity prob­lems, at Green cas­tle and re­peat­edly hit her with a ham­mer.

McFall was re­leased on li­cence in 2010.

Dur­ing sep­a­rate in­ter­views, Unwin ad­mit­ted the vic­tim had been at the house that night but claimed she was “fit and well” when she left a short time later.

He said: “I never hurt her and I have never raped her and nei­ther did John.”

Jurors heard the men now blame each other for the killing.

The court heard Unwin was con­victed of mur­der af­ter he broke into a 73-year-old man’s home in Houghton on Christ­mas Day in 1998.He at­tacked the pen­sioner, then stabbed him in the chest be­fore start­ing three fires.

Unwin was sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment when he pleaded guilty to mur­der in 1999 and re­leased on li­cence in 2012.

Both men deny mur­der and rape.

The trial con­tin­ues

A po­lice cor­don at the scene and, in­set, vic­tim Quyen Ngoc Nguyen, who was known as Anna.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.