Two Men Convicted of Torturing, Killing French Students

LONDON, England—On Thursday, two British men were convicted for torturing and killing two French students in London last June, said London’s Metropolitan Police.
Nigel Farmer, 34, and Daniel “Dano” Sonnex, 23, were also found guilty of false imprisonment, burglary, and arson.

The bodies of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were found last summer in Bonomo’s burned apartment in southeast London. Mick Duthie, the lead detective in the case, at the time reported that the men had fallen victim to a “frenzied, brutal, horrific attack.”

The jury heard details of how the two students were tied up for hours, tortured for their credit-card personal identification number (PIN) and repeatedly stabbed in a morning attack on June 29, 2008. The trial lasted five weeks.

Farmer returned to the apartment the night of the crime and set it on fire in an attempt to destroy any evidence, police said. Neighbors heard an explosion and saw the flames, which made them call emergency services to the location.

Initially, investigators believed the cause of death for the two students was due to the fire, but an autopsy showed that each had been stabbed multiple times in the head, neck and torso. Bonomo had been stabbed 196 times and Ferez had been stabbed 47 times.

Police believe that these two were tied up during the assault, and an accelerant was used in order to start the fire to destroy all the evidence after they were killed.

Ferez’s card was taken by the machine when money was tried to be taken out, and approximately $580 was withdrew from Bonomo’s account in seven transactions. Along with money and credit cards, hand-held Sony portable games and cell phones were missing.

“Throughout the case, neither has had the decency or courage to admit any part in the fatal assault on the two students with both men telling different stories.”

The two men will be sentenced later Wednesday.

The victims, who were biochemistry graduate students, were in England attending a three-month course at Imperial College, London studying genetic developments. They were planning to return to France in July.

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