MURDERERS should serve at least 40 years in jail and not be released before that on licence, a victims' campaigner said after the case.

Stephen Unwin and William McFall murdered pensioners in separate attacks in the 1990s, made friends in prison and teamed up to kill again in the most twisted fashion.

David Hines, founder of the National Victims' Association, had argued against Unwin being freed after he served just 13 years of a life sentence for murdering a pensioner during a burglary on Christmas Day 1998.

According to reports, when a judge set the minimum term Unwin faced in 2007, years after his original life sentence, he said the killer had shown "deep remorse".

At the time Mr Hines said: "This is just one example of a multitude of cases where the courts are just rubber-stamping early releases for these people. It's unbelievable."

After Unwin and McFall were convicted of their dreadful second murder, Mr Hines said: "A life sentence should mean a minimum of 40 years behind bars.

"If they do get let out, it has to be guaranteed that they are safe, and the people who let them out have to be accountable.

"These two first murdered senior citizens, followed each other around the prison system and became friends, and then went on to do all kinds of horrible deeds together.

"I blame the politicians for not changing the law.

"We haven't got a strong enough criminal justice system."