Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 13:53 UK

Legal action over student murder

Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo
Students Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo were tied up and stabbed

The father of a French student murdered in London has begun legal action against British authorities over failures in the justice system.

Gabriel Ferez and fellow biochemist Laurent Bonomo, both 23, were murdered by Dano Sonnex, and Nigel Farmer in New Cross in June 2008.

Sonnex should have been in custody at the time but had been wrongly bailed.

Olivier Ferez said his lawyers had written to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and were awaiting a response.

The two students were knifed 244 times by Sonnex, 23, and drug addict Nigel Farmer, 34, during a three-hour ordeal.

Verbal warning

Sonnex had previously been bailed for handling stolen goods when he should have been remanded in custody.

His recall to prison was delayed and it took 33 days for the administrative process to be completed.

It was a further 16 days before Metropolitan Police officers went to Sonnex's house to arrest him.

Although Sonnex had tied up and threatened a couple he was given a verbal warning by his probation officer rather than being the subject of a review.

Dano Sonnex
Sonnex should have been in custody when he and Farmer killed the students

An MoJ spokesman said: "We send our deepest sympathies to the families for their terrible loss.

"We can confirm we have received a letter from the lawyers of Olivier Ferez, which we are considering, and will respond to in due course."

Justice Secretary Jack Straw has apologised to the families of the victims, saying the killer "could and should" have been in custody at the time and that he took "full responsibility" for Probation Service failings.

Sonnex was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 40 years. Farmer was also jailed for life and will serve at least 35 years.

Attorney General Baroness Scotland said last week she would not be referring the sentences to the Court of Appeal.



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