Murder suspect burgled French students' home

A man accused of murdering two French students during a frenzied attack at a London house admitted today he had carried out a burglary at the property.

Dano Sonnex, 23, along with Nigel Farmer, 34, is accused of the brutal killings of biochemistry students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez in June last year, murders that shocked people on both sides of the Channel.

The pair, both 23, were tied up, stabbed scores of times and Bonomo's apartment in New Cross, south-east London, was set ablaze. Police said they were among the most gruesome murders they had ever investigated.

Sonnex pleaded guilty to the burglary charge as he appeared with Farmer for the start of their murder trial at the Old Bailey, the Press Association reported.

Members of victims' families were in court as a jury of six men and six women were sworn in.

The jurors were told that Sonnex had pleaded guilty to a single count of burglary, involving a bank card, a credit card, two Sony PSP games consoles and two mobile phones, on the same date of the murder and at the same address.

Farmer denies the charge.

Both defendants deny murder, false imprisonment, and arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered. Prosecutors will formally open the case against them on Friday.

Bonomo and Ferez were in the second year of a masters degree at the Ecole Polytechnique de Clermont Ferrand in central France and were nearing the end of a three-month internship studying DNA at Imperial College London when they were killed.