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The Haifa District Court Sunday sentenced Nicolai Bonner, 33, to four consecutive life sentences for the grisly serial killings of four immigrants from the former Soviet Union, three of them homeless.

The victims were all beaten, their faces bruised, and then attempts were made to set their bodies on fire.

He was also sentenced to five years' imprisionement for attempted murder, nine years' impriosonement for aggravated rape, and three years for other charges including aggravated assault and interfering with judicial proceedings.

Bonnet had maintained his innocence, saying that he had confessed to the crimes under pressure, that he had been drunk at the time and that he had made the statement for fear that his family might be hurt if he did not.

His statements failed to persuade the judges. They noted that, apart from his confession, he had also led interrogators to the scenes of the murders.

Bonner moved to Israel from Moldova in 2000. His wife contracted tuberculosis, and passed away in January of 2003. One month after the death of his wife, with a rapidly deteriorating emotional state, Bonner requested a leave of absence from his job at a Jaffa pipe factory.

Bonner's defense attorney Ofer Cohen had requested that the court take his circumstances into account when considering his sentence, citing the defendant's unstable mental state.

Although the first murder occurred in 2005, police did not suspect a serial murderer until the third body of Valeri Soznov was uncovered two months later, and similarities were noted between the crime scenes.