Man accused of killing French au-pair appears in London court
A man on trial for killing a French au-pair in London on Monday described his partner and co-accused as domineering, jealous and prone to mood swings.
Ouissem Medouni has denied killing Sophie Lionnet, who cared for the two children of his partner Sabrina Kouider.
While she also denies murder, both defendants have admitted to attempting to dispose of 21-year-old Lionnet’s body in their back garden.
Medouni, a former financial analyst, said Kouider was the dominant one in the relationship and her mood would go “up and down very quickly in the space of seconds”.
“In the last years, every morning she would wake up screaming for nothing, and, if she had a dream about me being with another woman, she said it was going to happen and make up a story in her mind about it,” he told jurors at the Old Bailey central criminal court.
The couple first met at a fair in 2001 and have had an on-off relationship since.
According to Medouni, Kouider was “jealous” of him talking to Lionnet and claimed she had attacked the nanny.
“She lost her temper and dragged her hair down. I recall she was going to hit her,” he told jurors.
The prosecution has accused both defendants of systematic abuse of Lionnet and the court has been shown audio and video recordings of the nanny being interrogated by the pair.
Kouider allegedly accused her nanny of conspiring with Mark Walton — founder of the band Boyzone and father of one of her two children — to sexually abuse the family while they were sleeping.
Walton appeared in court last month and described his ex-girlfriend as “abusive” and “manipulative”.
Lionnet started working as an au-pair for Kouider in December 2015. Her body was found on September 20 last year in a bonfire tended by Medouni, after neighbours called the fire brigade.
Medouni said the nanny was paid £50 ($72, 58 euros) a week but her wage was cut at the end of July because Kouider was “angry at her”.
He told the court he “should have bought a ticket and sent her home” after he saw his partner attack Lionnet.
“I hate myself because there is this occasion and a crescendo after that. When I think about the whole situation, I’m really really angry with myself,” Medouni said.
The trial is due to continue until May 11.