Tuesday 19 June 2018

'To think she was tortured because of me...' - Boyzone founder speaks out over nanny's death at hands of obsessed pair

Boyzone founder Mark Walton
Boyzone founder Mark Walton
Sabrina Kouider and Ouissem Medouni have been found guilty of murdering their French nanny Sophie Lionnet. PA Wire / Met handout
Ouissem Medouni and Kouider had a shared psychosis (Scotland Yard/PA)
Sabrina Kouider reported ex-boyfriend Mark Walton to police more than 30 times in five years, saying he used black magic. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA
The patio where the body was found at the house in Wimbledon, south-west London. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA
Sophie Lionnet. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA

Sam Blewett

A founding member of Boyzone has described being haunted by the thought a French nanny was tortured and murdered by a couple because of their bizarre obsession with him.

Sabrina Kouider and Ouissem Medouni imprisoned and tortured 21-year-old Sophie Lionnet before burning her body on a bonfire over their warped fantasy that she was in league with music mogul Mark Walton.

Kouider, 35, and Medouni, 40, were convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering the woman, whose remains were found at their home near Wimbledon, south-west London.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday from his Hollywood home, Walton described his anguish at the fate of the victim he never met.

Sophie Lionnet death court case
Sophie Lionnet death court case

"When I saw that picture of Sophie and how scared and vulnerable and haunted she looks, and to think she was tortured because of me, that haunts me. The poor girl was telling the truth. She never met me. And yet she paid with her life because of those psychopaths," he said.

"I think of her every day. I want them to know I carry their daughter's picture with me everywhere. I will never forget her. We never met but I will always pray for her and her parents."

Ouissem Medouni and Kouider had a shared psychosis (Scotland Yard/PA)
Ouissem Medouni and Kouider had a shared psychosis (Scotland Yard/PA)

Fashion designer Kouider and her banker husband Medouni denied murder but were found guilty on Thursday of what was described as a "folie a deux", a shared psychosis.

Mother-of-two Kouider previously had a relationship with Walton and dragged Medouni into her obsession.

Sabrina Kouider reported ex-boyfriend Mark Walton to police more than 30 times in five years, saying he used black magic. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA
Sabrina Kouider reported ex-boyfriend Mark Walton to police more than 30 times in five years, saying he used black magic. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA

She reported the wealthy musician to police more than 30 times over five years and was cautioned for wrongly calling him a paedophile on a fake Facebook account.

Kouider teamed up with her on-off husband to interrogate Miss Lionnet, who she incorrectly claimed had been seduced by Walton's promises of fame.

Sophie Lionnet’s mother Catherine Devallonne and father Patrick Lionnet outside the Old Bailey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Sophie Lionnet’s mother Catherine Devallonne and father Patrick Lionnet outside the Old Bailey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Medouni told firefighters responding to reports of pungent smoke in September last year that he was burning a sheep. Police discovered the charred remains were of Miss Lionnet.

Kouider and Medouni will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on June 26.

The patio where the body was found at the house in Wimbledon, south-west London. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA
The patio where the body was found at the house in Wimbledon, south-west London. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA

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