Inside the brutal killing of shy nanny Sophie Lionnet

Sophie Lionet murder

by Anna Matheson and Hollie Richardson |

The couple found guilty of murdering their nanny were sentenced to life imprisonment today

French au pair Sophie Lionnet, 21, moved to London to improve her English but instead she found herself at the mercy of evil couple Sabrina, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, who tortured and eventually killed her before attempting to burn her body in their back garden.

Last week, a jury heard how mum-of-two Kouider had convinced herself her former lover, boyzone founding member Mark Walton had planted the nanny to spy on her.

Sophie Lionnet murder

Innocent Sophie had never met Walton – who was the father of one of Koudier’s children - but in the weeks leading up to the murder in September 2017, Kouider and Medouni tortured her to gain a confession.

The shy au pair was starved and beaten with an electrical cable leaving her with five broken ribs and a cracked breast bone.

More than eight hours of recordings were played to the court, in which sick Kouider was heard telling the girl she knew influential people and would have her jailed. A video “confession” was also filmed where an emaciated Sophie was shown admitting she had drugged Medouni so Walton could sexually assault him.

Unable to afford a flight home and too scared to ask for help, Sophie was trapped in her employer’s home until her tragic death.

The court was told that Sophie was killed in the bath, before the couple threw her body on a bonfire in the back garden of their Wimbledon home and lit a BBQ to disguise the smell.

Murder scene Sophie Lionnet

Firefighters were called to the scene on the 20th of September last year when neighbours reported the pungent-smelling smoke. Medouni tried to pass off the remains as a sheep carcass, while Kouider claimed that their nanny had run away with her ex.

The pair later admitted to attempting to destroy Sophie’s body, but blamed each other for the murder.

Sabrina kouider ouissem medouni

The court also heard that glamourous fashion designer Kouider was obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Mark Walton. The pair were together for two years, but following their split in 2013 Kouider reported Mark to the police more than 30 times claiming, among other things, that he was a pedophile.

Sophie Lionet au pair murder

Walton told the jury at Old Bailey in London, he had once been “in love” with Kouider, but she’d suddenly “flip”.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told the jury the case bared the signs of a type of psychosis known as “folie a duex”, where a delusion is passed from one person to another, with Kouider being the driving force. The jude decided Kouider’s depression and borderline personality disorder, was not a defence for murder and the pair were both found guilty. They’ll be sentenced next month.

Sophie’s parents gave an emotional statement saying they could never forgive her killers.

Her father, Patrick Lionnet, said, "Sabrina and Ouissem have not only stolen the life of my daughter so brutally and without remorse, they have also stolen mine."


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Geoffrey Hayes, 73

Geoffrey Hayes hosted long-running children's show Rainbow with co-star Zippy! Sadly, Geoffrey died in October with his family by his side.

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