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Europe

Britons found guilty of brutal French student murders

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-04

Britons Daniel Sonnex and Nigel Farmer were convicted by a London criminal court of murder, false imprisonment and arson. They had brutally stabbed two French students to death and set fire to their flat to destroy the evidence.

AFP - Two Britons were found guilty Thursday of stabbing to death two French students in London in a savage assault described as an "orgy of bloodletting".
   
Daniel Sonnex and Nigel Farmer were convicted at the Old Bailey criminal court in London.
   
They stabbed Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo more than 240 times in a botched burglary at Bonomo's south London apartment last June.
   
The victims, second-year students from Clermont-Ferrand in central France, were nearing the end of a three-month research placement studying DNA at London's prestigious Imperial College when they were murdered.
   
Sonnex and Farmer had been drinking heavily and taking cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy before bursting in on the students on the evening of June 29, tying them up and launching an attack of "brutal and sustained ferocity," the court heard.
   
Before finally killing them, the pair demanded the Frenchmen's bank cards and personal codes, prosecutors said. They managed to withdraw 360 pounds (590 dollars, 415 euros) using Bonomo's card.
   
But when Sonnex tried to take money out of Ferez's account, the card was withheld by a machine -- and the pair took their anger out on the Frenchmen, the court heard.
   
Prosecutors described the killing as an "orgy of bloodletting" -- during which they were repeatedly stabbed in the head -- before the property in the New Cross district of south London was torched to allegedly destroy the evidence.
   
Firemen who were the first to arrive at the flat found "a scene of almost unimaginable horror," prosecutors said.
   
Both men had pleaded not guilty to murder, false imprisonment and a charge of arson.

Date created : 2009-06-04

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