Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Failed Them; Blunders Left Sadist Free to Kill Students; Murder Pair Jailed for 40 and 35 Years

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Failed Them; Blunders Left Sadist Free to Kill Students; Murder Pair Jailed for 40 and 35 Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Cheston, Martin Bentham and Justin Davenport

TWO French students who were brutally murdered in London by a pair of sadistic killers would never have died but for a series of appalling blunders by probation staff and police. Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez were stabbed a total of 244 times before their bodies and flat in New Cross were set on fire in a crime the judge described as "the worst I have ever had to deal with". Today Dano Sonnex, 23, and Nigel Farmer, 34, were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey. Sonnex must serve a minimum of 40 years and Farmer 35. Today the full details of the errors which left Sonnex, a violent sociopath from one of south London's most notorious families, free to kill were disclosed for the first time. The failings include a 33-day delay by probation staff authorising his return to jail for breaching the terms of his release from an earlier sentence and an equally fatal 16 days of inaction by police after an arrest warrant was finally issued. Mr Justice Saunders warned the killers that they may never be released. He said he showed them mercy only because of their youth. Their only hope of release would be in old age and only then if the parole board believed they were no longer a danger to the public. "The misery and suffering you have caused cannot be measured," the judge told them. "These are the worst crimes I have ever had to deal with. No punishment I can pass can ever bring comfort to the families. "I sentence you to life imprisonment and I anticipate that may well mean life. "But because of your ages I impose fixed terms so when you are old and perhaps in poor health, if the Parole Board considers it right, you could be released on licence. But it may well be you will never be released." Sonnex, watched by his father Bernie senior and younger brother George in the public gallery, winked and pretended to whistle in a show of defiance as he was led to the cells. …

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