Couple jailed for 30 years for murdering French nanny and burning her body over 'bizarre obsession' with Boyzone singer
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Couple jailed for 30 years for murdering French nanny and burning her body over 'bizarre obsession' with Boyzone singer

A COUPLE have been sentenced to life for murdering their French au-pair over a bizarre obsession with a former Boyzone singer.

Sabrina Kouider, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, killed Sophie Lionnet after accusing her of being in league with Koudier's ex-boyfriend Mark Walton - a founding member of the Irish boy band.

Ms Lionnet, 21, was starved and tortured by the couple in the weeks leading up to her brutal murder in September 2017.

She was then beaten to death in a bath tub before the pair threw her body on a bonfire in the garden of their home in Wimbledon, south-west London.

Firefighters were alerted by neighbours to the smoke before police arrested Kouider and Medouni - who tried to pass off the remains as a sheep’s carcass.

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The couple were found guilty of murder by unanimous verdict at the Old Bailey last month after a week of deliberations by the jury.

Sophie Lionnet, 21, was horrifically tortured in the weeks before her murder in September 2017 (Image: Facebook)

Both had denied murdering the nanny, from Troyes in eastern France, although they had admitted during the two-month trial to burning her body.

Speaking after the convictions, state prosecutor Aisling Hosein said: "Ms Lionnet died as a result of purposeful and sustained violence, and not by accident.

“[Kouider and Medouni] were both jointly involved and came up with a plan to try and destroy her body and escape responsibility for this horrendous crime."

The trial was told how Kouider, a mother-of-two, created a bizarre fantasy in which Mark Walton seduced Ms Lionnet with sex and promises of Hollywood stardom.

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The fashion designer was so fixated with her ex-partner that she reported him to police more than 30 times, later receiving a caution for branding him a "paedophile" on Facebook.

She also accused the Irishman of sexually abusing a cat, using black magic and using a helicopter to spy on her.

Ex-Boyzone singer Mark Walton is Sabrina Kouider's ex-boyfriend (Image: Facebook)

But giving evidence, Walton, who is based in LA, told the court that he "never, ever" knew the victim.

The successful pop music mogul explained that he "created" Boyzone in 1993, but later left in 1995 to create another band, Fifth Avenue.

He added that he first began a relationship with Kouider in 2011 and described her as "crazy", saying she would often "flip" for no reason.

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Another ex-boyfriend, Anthony Francois, described Kouider as a “lunatic, fickle and unstable”.

The Old Bailey learned that Kouider and Medouni had interrogated their victim for hours to extract some form of "confession" to confirm their "perverted suspicions" about Mr Walton.

A post-mortem showed that Ms Lionnet suffered a fractured jawbone in the hours before her death, as well as bruising and fractures to her sternum and ribs between 36 hours and three days prior.

Snippets of more than eight hours of mobile phone recordings of the defendants' interrogations were played to the jury in which Ms Lionnet was likened to a "Nazi collaborator" by her tormentors.

The victim's parents travelled from France to see Kouider and Medouni found guilty of murder four weeks ago.

The evil couple, who are both French nationals, were sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years this afternoon.