Free to kill, Daniel Sonnex tortured and murdered Tarantino-style.


Gabriel Ferez (L) and Laurent Bonomo ® (Photo: PA Photos)

On 29 June 2008, French students Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo were in their rented bedsit in south east London. Trapped in their home after two men broke in, the students were bound and gagged in an utterly terrifying ordeal.

PA Photos

The burglars stole two mobile phones, PlayStations, and demanded bankcards and PIN numbers from the terrified victims. But, after Gabriel and Laurent gave up the information, the two criminals didn’t walk away. Instead, the depraved pair proceeded to stab and slash the victims with sustained, brutal ferocity. The force of the blows sliced into the victims’ brains.

Laurent Bonomo, 23, sustained an unthinkable 194 stab wounds and Gabriel Ferez, also 23, was stabbed a horrendous 50 times. Some wounds were even inflicted after the students had died…

Later, the home was doused with petrol and set alight, presumably to get rid of any evidence. And a man was seen running from the property. It was then the badly burned bodies of the young men were discovered and a murder investigation started.

PA Photos

The police already suspected a career criminal who lived just a 10-minute walk from where the innocent men had been murdered. Daniel ‘Dano’ Sonnex…

But, days after the massacre, a man handed himself in at a police station. Nigel Farmer had burns to his arms and face from setting light to the crime scene. He didn’t give up his fellow thug, but other people reported that Daniel Sonnex had talked about the murders.

Soon after, on 10 July, the police caught Daniel Sonnex, who was hiding in his grandmother’s loft in Peckham, south east London.

‘I’m going to bite your face off,’ he threatened one officer, before laughing hysterically in the back of the police van as he was carted off.

Who was this sick sadist?

Daniel was born into the notorious Sonnex family, renowned around south east London. Daniel’s father, Bernard Snr had racked up 26 convictions for 47 crimes including gun and drug offences. Daniel’s brother, Bernard Jr, who he was said to idolise, had over 20 convictions for 34 offences, and by his mid 30s had served 10 prison sentences.

Bernard Snr was said to be erratically violent to his children and was involved in serious crime. He drank heavily and Daniel Sonnex later said, ‘would kick us all out onto the street in his rages.’ He also said, ‘people were always coming round asking for money and trying to get my dad.’ And the police regularly raided the Sonnex house looking for drugs and firearms.

Daniel Sonnex was excluded from primary school at just 10 years old, and was told to go to a tuition centre for a few hours a day. He never went. Instead, he followed in his family’s footsteps, falling into a life of drink, drugs and crime.

In May 2002, Daniel attacked a teenager, stabbing him three times in the back and chest following a trivial row over a car. Then he went on the run for six months. During that time, he embarked on a robbery spree armed with a blank-firing 8mm replica Barretta handgun.

With the help of a friend, he held the gun to a woman’s head as she and three friends were on a night out. Later that same evening the pair stormed a takeaway shop, demanding money from the till. Daniel, wearing a hood, jumped on to the counter and fired the imitation gun at a shop worker. The worker’s son ran to confront Daniel Sonnex and, realising the gun was firing blanks, he chased after Daniel and grabbed hold of him. But the lad was pistol whipped before his brother ran to help.

Daniel continued to struggle and pulled out a knife before threatening the two men. Thankfully for them, the police arrived before anyone was badly hurt.

On 7 February 2003, Daniel Sonnex, then 17, was jailed for eight years for a string of offences. The following year a doctor reported how Daniel Sonnex had ‘feared that his reaction to events meant he could kill.’ A chilling prophecy…

However, this information wasn’t shared with prison staff. And time behind bars didn’t help reform him. Sonnex admitted taking drugs in prison and getting into fights. At one point, he spent five months in solitary confinement.

Sonnex was released on license in 2008, but a short time later, took a pregnant woman and her partner captive. He bound them both, put a pillowcase over the man’s head and threatened them with a saw and hammer before demanding money, thought to be for his drug addiction. The victims were too scared to press charges, so he was only given a verbal warning.

By April that year he’d been arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and should’ve been sent back to prison, but he was granted bail and disappeared. A recall warrant was eventually issued for Daniel Sonnex, but police failed to immediately act on it. This series of blunders meant Sonnex was free to commit more heinous crimes.

In the two weeks before the brutal murders of the French students, Sonnex carried out more than 10 burglaries. He attempted to ransack the home of Eastenders actress, Laila Morse, who plays Mo Harris, too.

Then he and Nigel Farmer had carried out the horrific murders of the two, innocent men – Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez – with unmitigated brutality. They were dubbed the ‘Tarantino murders’ because of the senseless, bloody brutality and violence reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino films… And Sonnex walked away from the gruesome crime just £80 richer.

PA Photos

After Sonnex was arrested, he and Farmer stood trial on two counts of murder at the Old Bailey. Both were found guilty and Sonnex was sentenced to life with a minimum of 40 years. He remains behind bars, where he belongs.

Family pattern?

Daniel Sonnex’s sister, Louise, was jailed in March 2008 for five years for causing grievous bodily harm. She beat up her father’s new girlfriend with a golf club after he separated from her mother. She also had a conviction for glassing a woman.