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Jury told of 'unimaginable horror'

TWO French students were tortured and murdered in a London apartment in a scene of "almost unimaginable horror" when a burglary went wrong, a court heard yesterday.

Biochemistry students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were stabbed more than 200 times in an attack of "brutal and sustained ferocity," jurors were told.

Defendants Dano Sonnex, 23, and Nigel Farmer, 34, are said to have burst into the students' home in New Cross, southeast London, and demanded their bank details.

But when one of the defendants went to try to withdraw money from Ferez's account, the cash machine retained the card, the Old Bailey heard.

"To take revenge for the fact that they had been unable to steal money from Mr Ferez, both men were murdered in a way that can only be described as inhuman," prosecutor Crispin Aylett said. "They had been subjected to an attack of brutal and sustained ferocity - one of them had been stabbed 194 times, the other 50 times."

Jurors were told that the men, dressed only in underpants, had been tied up, bound at the ankles and wrists, and their heads wrapped in towels. Both were repeatedly stabbed in the head, sometimes with such force that the knife had penetrated the skull.

Sonnex has admitted burgling the property on the day of the murders, stealing bank and credit cards, two games consoles and two mobile phones.

Farmer denies burglary and both deny murder, false imprisonment and arson, and reckless endangerment of life.

Bonomo and Ferez were in the second year of a masters degree at the Ecole Polytechnique de Clermont Ferrand and nearing the end of a three-month internship studying DNA at Imperial College London.

The trial continues.


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