Two men have been handed full life terms with no opportunity for release for the brutal murder of a Killingworth mum-of-two.
Stephen Unwin, 40, and William John McFall, 51, were convicted last month of the murder of 28-year-old Quyen Ngoc Nguyen in the Sunderland area last August.
The pair held Quyen hostage at Unwin’s address in Houghton-le-Spring for four hours during which she was sexually assaulted and raped to a point at which they rendered her unconscious.
Her killers then drove her body to some nearby allotments in Shiney Row, dumped the vehicle in a field and then set it on fire as Quyen lay slumped on the back seat.
Detectives quickly identified the men as suspects and gathered a mountain of evidence against them, but they both denied any responsibility. Last month, a jury found them guilty of murder at Newcastle Crown Court. Unwin was also convicted of rape.
They were both jailed for life with no minimum term by a judge today.
Quyen came over to the UK from Vietnam. She lived in Killingworth with her sister Quynh and worked as a manager at a Birtley nail bar, as well as working to find properties for other members of the Vietnamese community.
It was through this line of work that she met Unwin, of Oswald Terrace, Houghton-le-Spring.
Quynh said in a statement: “My sister was intelligent, taught herself how to speak the English language and was living the life that she had dreamed of before coming to the UK.
“We did not believe that evil men like this existed in this country – we thought it was a safe place to bring up our families.
“Today I am relieved that these men will now spend the rest of their lives in prison. They don’t deserve freedom.
“It breaks my heart that I will never see Quyen again but the result today does give us some justice.
“She was a devoted mother and an amazing sister. I will remember her beautiful smile forever.”
McFall, of Waterloo Road, Blackpool, was found not guilty of rape.
Detective Inspector Ed Small, who was part of the investigation team, said: “The murder of Quyen Ngoc Nguyen is one of the worst cases that I have had to investigate in my 25 years as a police officer.
“Nobody should ever go through what she endured that night and some of the evidence heard during the trial will haunt her family forever.
“The sentence handed to William McFall and Stephen Unwin today means they will never be released to kill again.”