Murder accused took ‘smiling selfie’ after raping ‘tiny’ mum and setting body on fire, court told

Quyen Nguyen.
Quyen Nguyen.

Two men accused of “raping and incapacitating” a nail salon worker before setting her body and car on fire are said to have taken a selfie after the killing

Stephen Unwin and William McFall lured Quyen Nguyen to a house where she endured a "terrifying" four-hour ordeal, jurors have been told.

Flowers at the scene.

Flowers at the scene.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it remains unknown exactly what happened during her "horror" ordeal in the house but the 28-year-old victim, who had been "raped and incapacitated", was dying and wrapped in a sheet when she was taken out.

Her remains were found in her Audi A4 car when emergency services were called to a dirt track at Success Road, in Shiney Row, last August.

Local residents had reported hearing “explosions” and the fire service found a “fierce blaze”.

The victim's badly burned body was found face down on the back seat of the motor.

Prosecutors claim the motive for her killing was a combination of "violent, warped sexual fantasy and greed".

The court heard McFall took a "smiling selfie" of himself and his accomplice in another car after the killing.

And in the days before the killing the men had exchanged a series of shocking, sexually graphic texts.

McFall had also taken a selfie posing with a gas gun on the day of the killing, which was later found and contained heavy traces of the victim's DNA.

Prosecutors say the 28-year-old Vietnamese nail salon worker, who was known as Anna and was described as “tiny” in stature, had been held 'captive' at Unwin's house by the two men, where she was raped, attacked and forced to hand over her bank details, before they “disposed” of her.

The court heard it is likely she was “just alive” when she, and her car, were set alight.

A post mortem suggested the victim, who was from the Killingworth area of North Tyneside, had died in the early stages of the fire.

Unwin, 40, of St. Oswald's Terrace, Houghton, and McFall, 50, who is originally from Northern Ireland but now of Waterloo Road, Blackpool, have both pleaded not guilty to her murder and rape and are being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Jamie Hill Qc told jurors the victim had been held captive at Unwin's house, where she was raped and 'incapacitated'.

He added: "It is our case that the defendants jointly disposed of her.

"It is the likelihood she was still just alive when she and her car were set alight."

Mr Hill said a reason for the murder was “depraved sexual lust and financial gain”.

The court heard the men were maintenance workers who met the victim through her involvement in rental properties.

Mr Hill said some of the properties she was involved in had been used as cannabis farms and it is claimed the men were involved in stealing crops.

The court heard it is unclear why the single mum visited Unwin's house on August 14 but prosecutors say she walked into a "trap".

Mr Hill said Unwin greeted the victim at the back door, while gesturing for McFall to stay out of sight until she was inside and alone with them.

Mr Hill added: "At various stages McFall and Unwin were alone with Miss Nguyen but for the majority of the time they were both in the house with her."

The court heard DNA, CCTV and strands of circumstantial evidence can shed some light onto the "terrifying" ordeal the victim endured.

Mr Hill added: "The prosecution says that she was sexually abused and raped and also threatened into providing her PIN numbers for her two bank cards.

"It may be that they were also after the whereabouts of other cannabis growers.
"When the defendants had finished abusing her, and gained access to her money, they decided to dispose of her, determined to destroy the evidence of what they had been doing."

The court heard the victim's DNA was found inside the Marvel lounge pants Unwin had been wearing and there were traces in McFall's shorts.

Both men deny murder and rape.

The trial continues.