Wednesday 29 January 2020

Murder accused fashion designer suffered mood swings and woke up screaming, court told

Sabrina Kouider
Sabrina Kouider

Emily Pennink

A fashion designer accused of killing her French nanny suffered from mood swings and would wake up screaming "for nothing", her partner has said.

Sabrina Kouider, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, allegedly murdered Sophie Lionnet after forcing her to admit outlandish allegations of being in league with Boyzone founder Mark Walton.

Medouni then threw the 21-year-old's body on a bonfire in the garden of their home in Wimbledon, south-west London, and cooked chicken on a barbecue to disguise the smell, the Old Bailey has heard.

Giving evidence, Medouni told jurors he did not kill Miss Lionnet by his own hand or make a plan with Kouider to cause her death in September last year.

Victim Sophie Lionnet
Victim Sophie Lionnet

His lawyer, Orlando Pownall QC, asked: "Did you cause her body to be burned in a fire in the garden at the back of Wimbledon Park Road?"

Medouni said "Yes."

Mr Pownall said: "Do you agree that you made many dreadful decisions in the course of the account you are about to give?"

The defendant replied: "Yes."

Medouni, who has an economics degree from a university in Paris, denies murder but admits perverting the course of justice.

He said he met Kouider at a funfair in 2001 and thought she was "very, very, beautiful".

Medouni told jurors she was the "dominant" partner in their relationship.

Her moods would go "up and down very quickly in the space of seconds", he said.

"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.

"She said she had a gift for knowing what is going to happen," he added.

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