Pair guilty of Sunderland murder
Two men who attacked a woman and left her in a car before setting it alight have been convicted of her murder.
Stephen Unwin, 40 [16/2/1978], and William McFall, 51 [26/1/1967], were found guilty today [27 March] at Newcastle Crown Court of murdering Quyen Ngoc Nguyen on 14 August 2017.
Unwin was also found guilty of raping Ms Nguyen.
Ms Nguyen, 28, who had arrived in the UK in 2010 from Vietnam, was known to Unwin. She went to his home on the night of 14 August where she was raped by him. She was also attacked by both men and forced to hand over her bank card details.
Her remains were found in her burnt out car, which had been left on a dirt track a quarter of a mile from Unwin’s home in Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. She died from the effects of the fire.
The pair were tracked and arrested by police the next day after using Ms Nguyen’s bank cards to withdraw £1,000.
Unwin and McFall first met in prison in the early 2000s while each was serving previous sentences for murder. They made contact again around three years ago.
The pair denied any involvement but were not aware that CCTV from a neighbouring home had recorded their movements at Unwin’s home.
Footage showed Ms Nguyen arriving at the house at around 7:30pm and then Unwin retrieving a fuel can from a van outside at 11pm.
Around 30 minutes later, footage showed both men removing Ms Nguyen’s body, which was wrapped in a sheet, from the house.
They will be sentenced on 25th April at Newcastle Crown Court.
Lynsey Colling from the CPS said: “The horrific actions of Unwin and McFall were motivated seemingly by financial greed and Unwin’s sexual gratification.
“Both men initially denied any knowledge of Ms Nguyen’s death, changing their stories when confronted with CCTV and forensic evidence. Becoming increasingly desperate, they then admitted being in the house with the victim, but blamed each other for her murder.
“Using CCTV footage, forensic evidence and telephone exchanges between the pair, the CPS has meticulously pieced together the events of that night. Their lies and their horrendous actions that night have been exposed to the court.
“I sincerely hope that the conviction of both men today brings some comfort to those who knew and loved Ms Nguyen.”
Notes to editors
- Lynsey Colling is a CPS District Crown Prosecutor with the CPS North East Crown Court Unit