Wednesday 18 September 2019

Murder accused couple had sex while French nanny lay dead nearby - court

Victim Sophie Lionnet
Victim Sophie Lionnet

Emily Pennink

A couple accused of murdering their French nanny had sex as she lay dead nearby, a court has heard.

Sabrina Kouider, 35, told an Old Bailey jury that she cried when her partner, Ouissem Medouni, satisfied himself with her shortly after killing Sophie Lionnet at their flat in Wimbledon, south-west London.

She has blamed the financial analyst for waterboarding the 21-year-old au pair in the bathroom in September last year.

After the body was found on a bonfire in their garden, Kouider said she lied to police on his instructions.

Sabrina Kouider
Sabrina Kouider

Under cross-examination, Kouider said: "Everything I done (sic), I did it for him.

"He wanted to have sex with me. I'm even shocked to talk about it, it's embarrassing."

Orlando Pownall QC, for Medouni, asserted: "You suggesting Mr Medouni was insistent on having sex with you when Sophie was lying dead in the bed is nonsense."

Kouider replied: "I said 'What are you doing?' When he finished he said he was so stressed."

A sketch by court artist Elizabeth Cook from 2017 of Ouissem Medouni (40, left) and his partner Sabrina Kouider (34). Photo: PA
A sketch by court artist Elizabeth Cook from 2017 of Ouissem Medouni (40, left) and his partner Sabrina Kouider (34). Photo: PA

Asked if she was alleging rape, she said: "I was shocked. I was not myself. I didn't say 'Don't do that' but I was crying while he was doing that."

Mr Pownall said: "I suggest it is a figment if your imagination."

Kouider replied: "It's not my imagination, it's the truth."

The lawyer suggested the defendants' cases were "mirror images" of each other.

He said: "You say Mr Medouni had never shown any violence towards her (Miss Lionnet) prior to September 18 and on that evening he was violent.

"His defence is almost the mirror image of yours. He says you were the one that had been violent and were violent in the early hours of the 19th."

Kouider said: "I reject that. I was not violent."

Mr Pownall went on: "If one was looking at the two mirror images, would you agree there is an important difference between you and him? First, over many years you have made false accusations against a number of people."

Kouider said: "I never made a false accusation against anybody."

The lawyer said: "Secondly, over a number of years you have shown bad temper and violence towards a number of people.

"The further difference - you always blame somebody else for your problems."

Kouider denied it.

Mr Pownall referred to a diagnosis in May 2017 of depression and borderline personality disorder.

Kouider admitted she had not been"well" but added: "I don't know where you are getting this information."

Kouider and Medouni, 40, have admitted perverting the course of justice but deny murder.

Mr Pownall told Kouider: "You make up dreadful stories about people, often of a sexual nature.

"You confuse dreams with reality and you have violent mood swings.

"You can suddenly become aggressive. You do pick on the weak and exploit them."

The defendant replied: "That's not true. I'm not crazy. I'm not losing my mind."

The barrister suggested she had even lied by denying suicide attempts and incidents of self-harm when she was younger.

He read doctors' notes detailing how she had jumped from a fourth-floor balcony on her 18th birthday and drank cleaning fluid after breaking up with her fiance when she was 20.

Mr Pownall suggested that, contrary to what Kouider had told jurors, Medouni was delighted to be "punching above his weight" with her.

She was the one who was "ashamed" of their relationship, telling people he was her cousin or brother, he said.

Kouider was so "fiercely jealous, possessive and controlling" that she once set fire to curtains, he added.

The defendant denied it, blaming a candle for what happened.

Mr Pownall went on: "Part of your illness I suggest is you suspect everybody of doing dreadful things, you record people, you make people take drug tests."

He pointed out a number of police reports dating from when Kouider had been living with former Boyzone star Mark Walton.

On one occasion she alleged Mr Walton sexually abused her cat.

Mr Pownall said: "Are you seriously suggesting Mr Walton sexually abused the cat?

"We have heard the evidence of Mr Walton, you didn't have a cat and he did not sexually abuse it."

He asserted Kouider was obsessed by Mr Walton after they broke up and she went back to her "lapdog" Medouni.

She denied it, saying she was more concerned about her fashion business than thinking about her music mogul ex-boyfriend.

Mr Pownall said: "I'm going to suggest the reason you were obsessed with Mr Walton had nothing to do with money.

"It was not that you felt cheated in life. It's because you needed an excuse. You needed a reason why to cover up for your mental problems by blaming it all on Mr Walton - it's his fault I'm the way I am. Do you agree with that?

"You also did it because you hate it when people stand up to you and don't agree with you.

"You hurl insults and make false allegations against them. And you were angry with the police and were determined to show they were wrong."

Kouider insisted she was "not crazy" and added she was "still angry with the police".

The court has heard the defendants became convinced Miss Lionnet was in league with Mr Walton and conspired with him to drug and molest the family before her death.

The prosecution has said the outlandish allegations against Mr Walton are not true.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.

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