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French fashion designer 'who forced her nanny into false confession she'd slept with member of Boyzone then killed her claimed she could see the future in her dreams'

  • Ouissem Medouni and partner Sabrina Kouider deny murdering Sophie Lionnet 
  • Medouni told Old Bailey his partner believed she could see into the future
  • But she would 'go mad' if he questioned whether her predictions were wrong 
  • Prosecutors claim they killed her and burned her body at their Wimbledon home 

A fashion designer accused of murdering a French nanny said she had 'a gift' and could predict the future through her dreams – and would 'go mad' when challenged, her lover told a court today. 

Sabrina Kouider, 35, and boyfriend Ouissem Medouni, 40, tortured Sophie Lionnet in their £900,000 Wimbledon home before killing her on 18 September last year.

The nanny's parents were at the Old Bailey today as they heard Medouni held their daughter's head under water in the bath until she confessed to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone, the jury was told heard.

The couple then burned the 21-year-old woman's body while Medouni grilled chicken on a barbecue, it is claimed.

Medouni, who denies murdering Ms Lionnet but admits burning her body, gave evidence today wearing a blue suit and grey tie.

Sabrina Kouider, 35, and boyfriend Ouissem Medouni, 40, tortured Sophie Lionnet in their £900,000 Wimbledon home before killing her on 18 September last year

Sabrina Kouider, 35, and boyfriend Ouissem Medouni, 40, tortured Sophie Lionnet in their £900,000 Wimbledon home before killing her on 18 September last year

until she confessed to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone
until she confessed to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone

Sabrina Kouider, 35, held Sophie's head under water until she confessed to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone

Sophie's parents Catherine and Stephane Devallonne were at the Old Bailey today to hear harrowing evidence about their daughter's death

Sophie's parents Catherine and Stephane Devallonne were at the Old Bailey today to hear harrowing evidence about their daughter's death

He said that Kouider claimed to have prophetic dreams that predicted the future, and when he laughed at this she would 'go mad'.

Defence barrister Orlando Pownall QC asked Medouni what sort of mood swings Kouider had, and he responded: 'Up and down very very quickly, in the space of a second.

The court heard that Ms Lionnet was forced to live and sleep at a desk in the Wimbledon flat, forbidden from going outside, until she 'confessed' her collaborations with Walton

The court heard that Ms Lionnet was forced to live and sleep at a desk in the Wimbledon flat, forbidden from going outside, until she 'confessed' her collaborations with Walton

'Not each morning but most of them she would scream for nothing or if she had a dream and she dreamed of me with another girl, she tells me that it's true, it's going to happen or something like that.

'I said no but she would make a story in her mind.

'Even in the middle of the night she can wake up and start an argument. She claimed that what she's dreaming will happen.

'She even said to me she had a gift.'

The Recorder of London, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC wanted to confirm this, as he could barely hear soft-spoken Medouni.

'She said she had a gift for what?' asked Judge Hilliard.

'For dreaming what's going to happen,' said Medouni.

'Sometimes I ask what she dreamed of, she says 'no I can't say because if I say it is going to happen.'

'If I start laughing at that she would go mad.'

Medouni confirmed that Kouider had been the 'dominant partner' in their relationship, which started after he saw her at a funfair selling sweets and crépes in May 2001.

He didn't approach her, and asked his friend to get her number in exchange for using Medouni's car.

Mr Pownall asked Medouni what he thought of Kouider when he first saw her, and he said: 'She was very very beautiful, she still is.'

Poor Sophie had to confess to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone (pictured left, and right outside court)
Poor Sophie had to confess to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone (pictured left, and right outside court)

Poor Sophie had to confess to false allegations that she was sleeping with Kouider's ex boyfriend Mark Walton, who was a founding member of Boyzone (pictured left, and right outside court)

Prosecutors claim that French Algerian fashion designer Kouider and jobless Medouni (pictured together) held Ms Lionnet's head under water in the bath

Prosecutors claim that French Algerian fashion designer Kouider and jobless Medouni (pictured together) held Ms Lionnet's head under water in the bath

Medouni said he felt he had 'won the Euromillions' when he eventually started dating Kouider.

In a statement dated 5 January this year Medouni had confessed killing Ms Lionnet 'accidentally' while interrogating her in the bathroom.

He later changed his defence and pinned the blame on Kouider, claiming he had been covering up for her before.

But a revised defence statement was served on 15 March in which Medouni said he was in a 'state of shock' when he 'stupidly' took the blame for the murder.

'I should have done a lot more to protect Sophie and I feel responsible for not ensuring that she was returned home,' Medouni said in the statement.

'I should've been very much more assertive with Sabrina and accept that had I been, Sophie Lionnet would probably still be alive.'

Medouni claims he was asleep when Kouider killed Ms Lionnet, and when he awoke he tried to save her.

He says that on 18 September, the day of the murder, Kouider begged him not to call the police after he found Ms Lionnet's dead body, suggesting instead that they burn the body.

Two days later the pair started a fire using nail polish remover and the fire service arrived shortly after, the court heard.

Medouni told firemen the charred body of Ms Lionnet was a sheep he bought at Wimbledon Market.

Medouni and Kouider, both of Southfields, southwest London, each deny murder, but admit perverting the course of justice by burning the body.

Kouider claims she was asleep and it was Medouni who killed the nanny after becoming increasingly angry with her.

The trial continues.

 

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Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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