At least 33 years for 'savage' murderers

Two brutal killers were jailed for life today and ordered to serve at least 33 years for the "savage" murder of an innocent chef and his flatmate.

Donald MacPherson had the "misfortune" of being at home when the men came round to kill Luciano Schiano following a falling-out over a woman.

The bloody body of the 60-year-old father of four was discovered several days after he failed to turn up for work at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, central London.

Twice-married Mr MacPherson, originally from Clydebank, Scotland, suffered 80 stab wounds and injuries and had his face smashed with an iron as he fought back.

Mr Schiano, 49, suffered 26 knife wounds in the "brutal" attack at the flat in West Norwood, south London, last October.

Naples-born Claudio Lamponi, 30, of Norwood, and Massimo Manai, 41, of no fixed address but originally from Cagliari, Sardinia, were found guilty of the murders at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Judge Richard Hone told the pair the sentence reflected the seriousness of "your evil deeds".

He said they had killed their former friend then attacked the innocent chef as he slept in his bedroom.

Judge Hone said: "This was a cold-blooded and remorseless murder. First your compatriot and then an innocent man in his bed - in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It must have been a horrific ordeal. The injuries to Mr MacPherson beggar description."

He said the killings showed how disagreements in their "degenerate and drug-fuelled world lead to disproportionate violence".

Judge Hone added: "It was a gratuitous and needless murder of a man who had been sleeping in bed. These were two merciless executions."

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, said the target of the violence was Mr Schiano, who was from the Campania region near Naples, and whom the two defendants knew.

In August, Mr Schiano was headbutted by Manai after he "unwisely made a pass" at his girlfriend.

A statement by Manda, one of Mr MacPherson's four children, was read in court.

She said: "People do not go to bed to be slaughtered by two maniacs.

"Our dad was a simple man and loved the simple things in life. He loved us and his homeland with a passion.

"These men stole the heart of the family. My dad didn't deserve to die like this.

"Unfortunately, no length of sentence will reflect the loss to our family as our father was a much-loved dad and grandad who is missed and will never be forgotten."

Detective Chief Inspector Damian Allain said outside court: "Mr MacPherson was caught up in this evil attack and lost his life in a most violent way for absolutely no reason or motive."