x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Second arrest in French students' murders

British police have made a second arrest following the brutal murder of two French students in a frenzied knife attack.

Laurent Bonomo, left, and Gabriel Ferez, right, who were stabbed to death in a London flat that was then set on fire. The two men were studying bio-engineering at Imperial College London and the University of Clermont-Ferrand.
Laurent Bonomo, left, and Gabriel Ferez, right, who were stabbed to death in a London flat that was then set on fire. The two men were studying bio-engineering at Imperial College London and the University of Clermont-Ferrand.

LONDON // British police have made a second arrest in their investigation into the murder of two French students in a frenzied knife attack after a man handed himself in to police, authorities said today. Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23 and bioengineering students, were bound, gagged and repeatedly stabbed in Mr Bonomo's south London apartment. Police officers said the murders were the most "frenzied, brutal and horrific" they had seen.

"A 33-year-old man handed himself in at a south London police station early this morning where he currently remains in custody," Scotland Yard police said in a statement. It followed the arrest of a 21-year-old in connection with the murders over the weekend. The detainee was released without charge on Sunday. French newspapers said the shocking murders highlighted how dangerous London has become after a spate of teen stabbings this year that has prompted the mayor to make knife-crime a priority and police to expand a specialist squad.

Eighteen teenagers have been knifed to death on London's streets this year. Police have arrested more than 1,200 people and seized 528 knives during a six-week campaign sparked by the growing number of stabbings. Mr Bonomo was stabbed nearly 200 times, with up to 80 of the wounds inflicted after he was dead. Mr Ferez received nearly 50 knife wounds. The killer or killers then set fire to the apartment in what police said was an attempt to destroy evidence.

A black Packard Bell laptop computer was stolen from the flat six days before the murders. Mr Bonomo disturbed an intruder who stole the laptop as he took an early morning shower. Forensic experts have found no evidence of forced entry after the murders, suggesting that a set of keys might also have been stolen to gain entry on the day of the killings. Two Sony hand-held games consoles were also taken that day. Credit cards are also believed to be missing.

*Reuters