'Evil' killers who tortured and murdered mum told they will die in jail

Two killers who tortured then set fire to a young mum while out on parole after killing pensioners have been told they will die behind bars.

William McFall and Stephen Unwin held Quyen Ngoc Nguyen, who was known as Anna, "captive" at a house during a violent, horror, four-hour ordeal before the former cellmates, who met while serving previous life sentences, shared a curry together when their victim lay dying.

The cruel duo, who were working as handymen, then "disposed of" her body by fire at a dirt track in Shiney Row,

The 28-year-old nail salon worker, who had business qualifications and hired out rental properties, had been lured to a house for a business meeting about potential maintenance work but ended up being forced to hand over bank cards before being brutally killed.

Her badly burned remains, which could only be identified through dental records, were found face down on the back seat of her Audi A4, which had been engulfed in 30-foot flames during a fire that started when she was still "just" alive.

Stephen Unwin, 40, of St. Oswald's Terrace, Houghton, and William McFall, 51, of Waterloo Road, Blackpool, who met while serving time at HMP Swaleside in Kent for previous, separate murders, blamed each other for Miss Nguyen's death.

But after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court during which it was heard the motive for their crime was "violent, warped sexual fantasy and greed", jurors found both men guilty of murder.

Unwin was found guilty of Miss Nguyen's rape whereas McFall was cleared of that charge.

Mr Justice Morris sentenced both men to life behind bars with no provision for them to ever be released.

Unwin was given a second life sentence for the rape charge, with a nine year minimum tariff.

Stephen Unwin (left) and William McFall

Stephen Unwin (left) and William McFall

Read more: Sister of mum murdered in Sunderland speaks of her heartbreak

Justice Morris told them: “You have both murdered before. On this occasion you did so in a cold-blooded and callous manner, having deliberately lulled your victim into a trap.

“She suffered an unimaginable ordeal.

“Both during and after that ordeal, the two of you casually went on about your everyday tasks, chillingly devoid of human empathy.”

The judge said the killers had “casually cooked and ate a curry” while their victim’s life was ebbing away.

The judge said Unwin played the lead role in the murder of Miss Nguyen and branded him a “calculating, manipulative and rutheless killer”.

Unwin said “I’ve never killed or raped nobody” as he was led away to spend the rest of his days in prison.

The judge said McFall was “an extremely violent man, capable of monstrous behaviour.”

McFall shouted expletives and “I’ve never murdered anybody” as he was led away and told the judge “I will appeal this, it was never a fair f*****g trial”.

Questions remain as to how and why the men were able to maintain their sinister friendship while supposedly the subject of strict restrictions on their liberty.

The court was told the killers formed their deadly friendship while serving life sentences for two, separate, shocking murders.

When they were moved to separate prisons from Kent, the men, who called each other "bro" remained in touch as penpals until they were reunited at a jail in East Yorkshire, where they were prepared for release.

Despite being out on parole and the subject of strict life-licence restrictions, the killers, who got back in touch over Facebook, kept in constant contact and their mobile phone contents revealed a chilling collection of images that catalogued their continued interest in drugs, weapons and deviant sexual behaviour.

In a shocking message sent shortly before the murder of Miss Nguyen, McFall sent Unwin a text message asking if they were raping their victim.

Unwin's mobile contained records of his conversations with call-girls and his bid to buy a gun.

McFall, who had pictures of himself with weapons on his phone, including a gun that was later found to contain heavy traces of Miss Nguyen's DNA, took a happy
selfie with his killing accomplice after the murder - but claimed his "smile" was down to the fact his false teeth were falling out.

'They didn’t act like human beings. They are evil'

Miss Nguyen’s sister Quynh Nguyen branded the men “evil” and told the court she was confused how convincted killers are able to walk the streets so freely.

She said she and her sibling had moved to the Uk in the hope of a better life and that her death has had a devastating impact in their entire family.

With the help of an interpreter, she said: “My sister was a very kind and beautiful girl, a great daughter and caring mother.

“We miss her every day. I often see her in my dreams”.

Miss Nguyen was too upset to continue reading her statement after she told the court about the impact on the wider family, their parents and children and added “we miss her beautiful smile”.

Prosecutor Jamie Hill Q.C. took over reading the document on her behalf.

In it, she said: “We were extremely angry about the actions of these two terrible men towards her.

“It was very painful when I was told she was possibly alive when she was in the car.

“They didn’t act like human beings. They are evil. The lives if so many people have been altered by the cruel, violent actions of these two forever.

“We are heartbroken. We cannot comprehend how there are men like these, able to live freely in this country.

“My sister believed, as I did, we came to this country for a safer life with opportunities.

“Sadly, that was not the case for her and her children.”

Previous killings

The court heard on Christmas Day 1998 Unwin broke into the home of 73-year-old cancer suffer Jack Greenwell, who was in bed, in Houghton-le-Spring and hit him with a camera then stabbed him in the chest.

Unwin used a wheelie bin to take the victim's television to his own home then went back to the scene and started three fires, which meant the deceased had to be identified through dental records.

Quyen Ngoc Nguyen

Quyen Ngoc Nguyen

He was sentenced to life imprisonment when he pleaded guilty to murder in 1999 by a judge who branded him "wicked" and said he had a "degraded view of life".

Unwin was released on licence in 2012.

In the years before the murder, Unwin had been convicted of theft and arson after he stole a radio from a Volvo HGV in 1991 and then set fire to the vehicle.

In February 1995 he had broken into the home of a 72-year-old man, who was in bed, stole his benefit books then started five fires.

The victim was badly effected by smoke but survived the ordeal.

Unwin, who tried to cash the man's benefit book the next day, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless to whether life is endangered and attempting to obtain
property by deception when the case got to court.

The court heard McFall was convicted of murder at Belfast Crown Court in April 1997.

In May 1996 he had broken into the home of 86-year-old Martha Gilmore, who had mobility problems, at Station Road, Greencastle, Northern Ireland.

The victim had been disturbed by the raider and fell to the ground, after being struck in the face, where she was repeatedly hit with a hammer.

McFall's palm print was found in blood at the scene and he admitted being present but initially claimed his brother and brother in law had been with him and must have been responsible for the killing as he had ran off when the victim got disturbed.

He later told a prison inmate where he had hidden the murder weapon, which was in a graveyard, and eventually confessed to the killing, which he blamed on "alcohol, stress and panic".

McFall was initially jailed in Northern Ireland but then transferred to a mainland prison over concerns he was being bullied over the vile nature of his crime.

He was released on licence in 2010.

In the years before he committed the murder of Miss Gilmore, McFall had been convicted of robbery, assault and aggravated burglary while carrying a firearm in 1987.

In 1989 he was convicted of arson and burglary.

Between 1989 and 1991 he was three times convicted of possessing offensive weapons.