Tyne & Wear

Shiney Row burning car killer 'made previous rape threat'

Quyen Ngoc Nguyen Image copyright Family Handout/Northumbria Police
Image caption Quyen Ngoc Nguyen was a 28-year-old mother of two

A convicted killer threatened to attack and rape a woman weeks before murdering a mother-of-two, an inquest has heard.

The body of Quyen Ngoc Nguyen, 28, was found in a burning car at Shiney Row, near Sunderland, in August 2017.

Stephen Unwin and William McFall, who met serving life terms for separate murders, were jailed in April 2018.

A woman told police she was sent a message by Unwin in which he threatened to "smash her jaw in" and take turns with an accomplice to rape her.

The inquest heard this was one of 26 "items of intelligence" police had received between Unwin's release in December 2012 and Ms Nguyen's murder.

Coroner Derek Winter said the hearing would consider whether the killers' level of risk was properly assessed and whether information relevant to a "potential recall" of the men prior to the murder was brought to the attention of the relevant parties.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Stephen Unwin (left) and William McFall were give whole-life terms

Giving evidence, Det Insp Edward Small from Northumbria Police said that in July 2017 a woman complained that Unwin had sent her a Facebook message threatening the attack and rape.

She had not wished to take this any further, but mentioned to officers that Unwin had served prison time for murder.

There had also been a report that he had allegedly threatened to assault a teenager.

Mr Small said that from April 2015 "flags" - meaning relevant intelligence - that appeared on the record of prisoners released on licence would no longer be passed on automatically to the relevant authorities, including the probation service.

The change, aimed at reducing workload, meant officers would pass them on to authorities themselves at their own discretion.

However, a "warning" would remain permanently on the records of people like Unwin and McFall, showing that they were out of jail on licence.

The inquest, at Sunderland Coroner's Court, continues.

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