Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 13:41 UK

Mugging killers jailed for life

Jabu Mbowane and Gabriel Benghu
Jabu Mbowane and Gabriel Benghu will also be deported

Two men who murdered two of their mugging victims in separate robberies have been jailed for life.

South Africans Gabriel Benghu, 27, and Jabu Mbowane, 26, both of Court Road, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, were also found guilty of seven robberies.

Neil Williams, 41, died in Telford, Shropshire, and Andrew Owen, 42, died in Sedgley, West Midlands last April.

The judge at Wolverhampton Crown Court recommended that the men serve at least 30 years each.

He also said they must be deported after serving their life sentences.

'Victims vulnerable'

Both victims were walking home from a night out at their local pubs when they were grabbed around the neck, attacked and robbed.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Goldring told the men they had selected their seven mugging victims because "each was in some way vulnerable".

Neil Williams and Andrew Owen
Neil Williams and Andrew Owen were mugged near their homes

"Some were women walking home from the shop laden with bags, one was an older man smoking his cigar at the end of an evening," he said.

"Two, those whom you murdered, were on their way back home from the pub. They, you knew, were affected by drink."

Mr Williams and Mr Owen were killed within a 10- day period in April 2007.

Benghu and Mbowane had admitted mugging the two men, who were attacked near their homes, but denied intending the kill them.

Benghu was found guilty of two counts of murder and Mbowane of one count of murder.

Benghu and Mbowane are known to have entered the UK legally, but their visas had expired by the time of the murders and other muggings.

A third defendant, Kashia Allen, 22, of Crosby Close, Wolverhampton, was cleared of murdering Mr Owen but found guilty of his manslaughter and of seven robberies.

She will be sentenced later, after reports have been compiled.

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