French student killings suspect in London 'has burns'

8th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

A 33-year-old man, who turned himself in to police on Monday morning in connection with the murders of two French students in London, suffers from burns.

8 July 2008

LONDON - A man turned himself in to police in London on Monday in connection with the brutal murder of two French students and was taken to hospital suffering from burns, police said.

The burned and mutilated bodies of Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, both 23, were found in Bonomo's burnt-out flat in southeast London on June 29.

They had been bound, repeatedly knifed in the head, neck, torso and back and set alight.

"A 33-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murders of Laurent Bonomo
and Gabriel Ferez in Sterling Gardens," a police statement said. "The man handed himself in at a south London police station early this morning."

A Scotland Yard spokesman told AFP later the man was arrested on suspicion of murder and had been taken to hospital because "he is suffering from burns".

Murder squad detectives have confessed to being shocked by the extent of the savagery of the attack.

Bonomo had been stabbed nearly 200 times while Ferez suffered around 50 wounds in a prolonged ordeal in the tough New Cross area of London.

An accelerant was used to start the fire after the students were killed.

Gabriel Ferez's parents Olivier and Francoise have pleaded for the killer or killers to come forward.

"You will not be able to live in hiding forever," they said in a statement.

"You may be scared and feel like a coward, but you must recognise this terrible mistake you made. Rest assured that we will not leave you in peace."

The only other person held in connection with the case, a 21-year-old man arrested on Saturday, was released the following day.

Bonomo and Ferez were studying biochemistry at London's prestigious Imperial College, on an exchange programme from their university in Clermont-Ferrand, central France.

One theory is that the deaths were linked to a burglary at the ground floor flat on June 23, in which a laptop was taken.

Police believe two Sony PSP game consoles have since gone too and the victims' mobile phones and bank cards are missing. Detectives are in touch with French banks to see if the cards had been used since the attack.

The police said officers were looking at forensic material from the June 23 burglary, adding that there was no evidence that flat keys had been taken.

The students had been due to return to Clermont-Ferrand later this month.

The deaths coincided with growing concerns about knife and gang culture in London.

The number of teenagers killed in violent circumstances in the British capital so far this year rose to 19 on Monday when a 14-year-old boy stabbed three weeks ago died in hospital.

[AFP / Expatica]

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