French student murder trial witness changes evidence

30th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Daniel "Dano" Sonnex, 23, and Nigel Farmer, 34, deny killing Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, who were both 23, in a ferocious attack following a botched burglary at the students' rented flat last June.

London -- A key witness in the trial of two men accused of brutally murdering two French students in south London last year changed her evidence on Wednesday, to exonerate one suspect and put the blame on the other.

Daniel "Dano" Sonnex, 23, and Nigel Farmer, 34, deny killing Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, who were both 23, in a ferocious attack following a botched burglary at the students' rented flat last June.

At the Old Bailey courthouse in London Wednesday, witness Fay Culyer, 26, a former girlfriend of Sonnex's brother Bernie, said that a previous statement she made to police about Daniel Sonnex admitting to the crime "was wrong".

Culyer -- heavily pregnant with Bernie Sonnex's baby -- initially said that both suspects had separately confessed to her.

She said Farmer told her Sonnex started stabbing the students before letting him finish them off, and Sonnex later confirmed this version of events.

But at Wednesday's hearing, she said: "This part in my statement, where I said that Dano confessed, was wrong and I asked the police if I could change it and I wasn't really allowed to.

"At the time I was under a hell of a lot of pressure, I was confused. Hand on heart, I don't actually recall him confessing. He said Nigel was lying."

Culyer told the court that Farmer, by contrast, had confessed to her, saying: "He said that he had these two guys there, that he had stabbed them and it wasn't a pleasant sight."

She said he "looked like he was on another planet" as he spoke to her.

Sonnex and Farmer are alleged to have held Ferez and Bonomo captive at the flat before killing them and setting fire to the property.

Prosecutors have said the attack was of "brutal and sustained ferocity", saying one of the students was stabbed 194 times and the other 50 times.

Both suspects deny murder, although Sonnex has pleaded guilty to burglary.

AFP/Expatica

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