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London - Two handymen allegedly raped a Vietnamese nail bar owner and burned her alive before taking a grinning selfie, a court heard on Wednesday.

Stephen Unwin and John McFall are said to have subjected Quyen Ngoc Nguyen to a five-hour sex abuse ordeal.

She was allegedly forced to hand over bank card security numbers before being driven in her own car to a remote spot.

The 28-year-old mother of two may still have been alive when her killers then set her ablaze on the back seat, jurors heard.

Unwin and McFall are said to have messaged each other in the three weeks leading up to the alleged killing, including one in which McFall asked: "Are we raping the c****?"

Prosecutor Jamie Hill QC told Newcastle Crown Court: "The prosecution say that the motive for this killing was a combination of violent, warped sexual fantasy and greed."

Unwin, 40, and McFall, 51, knew Miss Nguyen after working on properties she rented out but had taken a depraved sexual interest in her, the court heard.

She had visited Unwin’s home in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear voluntarily on August 15. But the jury was told the handymen were later caught on CCTV leaving the property with Miss Nguyen wrapped in a white sheet.

As Unwin carried her over his shoulder, McFall pulled down the covering to try to obscure her face from security cameras, it is alleged.

They are then said to have bundled the 7st mother into her black Audi A4 and drove it to a lane near some allotments where she and the car were doused in petrol and set alight.As the sound of explosions awoke neighbours, the alleged killers walked back to the house and got into Unwin’s car.

Mr Hill told the court: "The pair appeared unconcerned by what they had just done.

"They took a selfie of themselves in the car.

"McFall is holding the phone and smiling into the phone as they are driving along."

The court heard Miss Nguyen, who was also known as Anna, was "unable to help herself" as she was driven to her death. Forensic evidence suggested she was "still briefly alive" as the fire was started.

A total of £1 000 (about R16 000) was withdrawn using her two bank cards. Mr Hill said the accused had exchanged messages via text and social media about Miss Nguyen and in one they discussed going "twos up on a brass" – slang for a sex worker.

Unwin also allegedly asked McFall on August 9: "Do you want a Vietnamese?"

"This was Unwin suggesting or offering a sexual encounter with a Vietnamese person," said Mr Hill. The texts continued even on the day of the killing, the court heard, with McFall asking Unwin: "We raping the c****?" followed by four kisses.

Miss Nguyen arrived in the UK from Vietnam in 2010 and moved into a home in Killingworth, North Tyneside, with her sister. The pair opened a nail bar called Glitter Nails in Birtley. Jurors heard she had one child with her in the UK while the other was being looked after in Vietnam.

Mr Hill said: "As well as helping run the nail salon Miss Nguyen had a part of her life which was largely kept secret.

"She had been involved in helping to rent flats to people who did not have the necessary immigration documents to live and work in the UK.

"In addition police inquiries show some of the properties she rented were used for growing cannabis." Unwin said he and McFall were hired to work on properties where the drugs had been harvested.

McFall, of Blackpool, and Unwin both deny rape and murder. The trial continues.