Two illegal immigrants have been ordered to serve at least 30 years in prison for the murders of two Midland men strangled during a string of brutal muggings.
Mr Justice Goldring, at Wolverhampton Crown Court, recommended South Africans Gabriel Bhengu, 27, and Jabu Mbowane, 26, be deported after serving life sentences for killing Andrew Owen and Neil Williams.
Passing sentence, the judge said he was satisfied the duo selected their victims, killed in a 10-day period in April last year in Telford, Shropshire, and Sedgley, Sandwell, because they perceived them to be vulnerable.
Bhengu and Mbowane, who entered Britain legally but overstayed their visas when they were involved in the killings and five other robberies, were convicted of murder and robbery after a five-week trial.
The defendants, both of Court Road, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, admitted mugging Mr Owen and Mr Williams but denied they had intended to cause either man serious harm.
Mr Justice Goldring told the men: "You selected your victims and each was in some way vulnerable. Some were women walking home from the shop laden with bags, one was an older man smoking his cigar at the end of an evening. Two, those whom you murdered, were on their way back home from the pub. They, you knew, were affected by drink."
The judge added he was satisfied the pattern of violence for each offence had been the same.
"You, Bhengu, the taller and stronger man, grabbed the victim from behind about the neck in a headlock and squeezed. You, Mbowane, stole the victims’ belongings, in some cases by rifling through a pocket or pockets."
Bhengu, 6ft 4ins and of heavy build, and Mbowane had told a "pack of lies" to the jury, undermining their claims of remorse, the judge said.
A third defendant, 22-year-old Kashia Allen, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Owen after driving her co-defendants to the murder scene and will be sentenced later.
Mr Williams, 41, was killed on April 5, while 42-year-old Mr Owen died on April 15.
Both were walking home from a night out at local pubs when they were violently grabbed around the neck and robbed.
Bhengu and Allen, of Crosby Close, Farndale, Wolverhampton, were convicted of five counts of robbery, while Mbowane was convicted of four robbery charges.
West Midlands Police and their counterparts in West Mercia launched Operation Talrin, a joint inquiry into the deaths, after finding Mr Williams’ stolen watch near Mr Owen’s body.
Bhengu, Mbowane and Allen were arrested in Wolverhampton on May 1 last year after the male defendants had visited a pawnbroker to try to sell Mr Owen’s jewellery.
The body of Mr Williams, from Calcott in Stirchley, Telford, was discovered by a member of the public shortly before 8am on Good Friday, 2007.
Mr Williams had been dropped at a nearby pub at 9pm on Thursday April 5, but failed to return home.
When Mr Williams’ body was found, his personal effects were missing, including trainers, a mobile phone, watch, money and a leather belt.
Mr Owen was found dead at 1.45am on April 15 in Coronation Gardens, Sedgley. He had been drinking at two pubs in the hours before he was attacked and robbed of his wallet, a mobile phone, various items of jewellery and a watch.