Northern Irish man faces life in prison for murder of Vietnamese woman

William McFall and Stephen Unwin were convicted of Quyen Ngoc Nguyen's murder

Northern Irish man faces life in prison for murder of Vietnamese woman

This composite image of undated handout photos issued by Northumbria Police shows of William McFall (left) and Stephen Unwin (right) | Image: Northumbria Police/PA Wire/PA Images

Two men who met in prison having murdered pensioners are facing life behind bars after teaming up to torture and fatally set fire to a mother of two young children.

Maintenance workers Stephen Unwin and William McFall, who each served 13 years of a life sentence for killing elderly people in the 1990s, put Quyen Ngoc Nguyen through a four-hour ordeal last August, after which they torched her body in the back of her car.

The 28-year-old Vietnamese woman, who worked at her sister's nail bar and also helped other Vietnamese people find accommodation in the area, was unaware Unwin was a life prisoner out on licence when he lured her to his home in Tyne and Wear in England.

When she arrived at the property, she was raped by the 40-year-old and forced to hand over her PIN numbers so he and his 51-year-old accomplice could raid stg£1,000 from her bank account.

Northern Ireland national McFall - who previously murdered a pensioner in 1996 and was also out on licence last August - even posed for a grinning selfie after they had committed their depraved crime.

The pair also ate a curry they had cooked as Ms Nguyen lay dying.

McFall had earlier texted Unwin - who in 1998 murdered a pensioner and set fire to their house to cover his tracks - to ask if they were going to rape Ms Nguyen.

Firefighters would later find her badly-burned body in the back of her Audi, which had also been torched by her killers.

Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court, the defendants blamed each other for the crimes in a bid to confuse the jury, with McFall having written to Unwin while they were on remand to claim he had found a "legal loophole" to avoid punishment.

The court heard how close the men had become since reuniting following their release from Swaleside Prison in Kent, not only working together professionally, but also planning raids on cannabis farms.

McFall made a series of outbursts from the dock after the jury convicted the men of murder, with Unwin also found guilty of rape - convictions that will result in mandatory life sentences.

Their victim's sister, Quyhn Ngoc Nguyen, said they should never be released.

Family liaison officer Sgt Jill Hall (left) reads a statement outside Newcastle Crown Court on behalf of Quyhn Ngoc Nguyen (centre left) holding a picture of her sister Quyen Ngoc Nguyen | Image: Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire/PA Images

"I believe that if these two people were released at some point in the future, then definitely some innocent people could be harmed," she said in a statement.

"I think they should never be released, they are evil."

The British Ministry of Justice has insisted McFall and Unwin were not known to be associates, with those released on "life licence" monitored according to the risks they posed and "how long they have been on licence without cause for concern".

A spokesman added: "This was a truly heinous crime and our sincere condolences remain with Miss Nguyen's family and friends.

"Serious further offences are very rare - but each one is taken extremely seriously and investigated fully so we identify any necessary actions when managing other cases."

McFall and Unwin will be given a minimum jail term at a hearing next month.