updated 6/4/2009 11:14:24 AM ET 2009-06-04T15:14:24

A jury on Thursday found two British men guilty of brutally murdering two French students in a London apartment a year ago.

Prosecutors said Dano Sonnex and Nigel Farmer tied up, tortured and repeatedly stabbed biochemistry students Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, both 23, in Bonomo's apartment last June.

Authorities said the two men wanted the students' bank PIN numbers and that the students were thought to be killed after an attempt to withdraw money failed.

‘Treated like animals’
"It was almost like they were treated like animals," said Detective Superintendent Mick Duthie, who led the investigation. "There was blood on the walls and ceilings. This was total carnage."

Farmer and Sonnex were due to be sentenced later in the day Thursday.

Bonomo's mother said after the conviction that her son would still be alive if the British authorities had done their jobs properly.

Sonnex previously had been jailed for a stabbing and robbery but had been let out before the end of his sentence. He allegedly went on to commit further crimes but wasn't taken back to prison before the French students were killed.

Government apology
U.K. Justice Secretary Jack Straw has apologized to the victims' families.

"Sonnex could and should have been in custody at the time he committed these murders," Straw said.

A senior London probation official resigned following a review of the case.

Both men were also found guilty of false imprisonment and arson on Thursday. Farmer was found guilty of burglary, a charge that Sonnex had already pleaded guilty to.

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