London

Sophie Lionnet death: Nanny 'pushed to confirm Boyzone claims'

Sophie Lionnet Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The court heard Sophie Lionnet's body showed signs of "significant violence"

A couple accused of killing a French nanny put her under "relentless" pressure to admit claims that a former Boyzone member had drugged and sexually abused occupants of their home.

Sophie Lionnet, 21, was allegedly murdered and thrown on a bonfire by her employers Sabrina Kouider and partner Ouissem Medouni last September.

They accused Ms Lionnet of being "in league" with Ms Kouider's ex and founding Boyzone member Mark Walton.

Both defendants deny murder.

'Emaciated and gaunt'

Prosecutor Richard Horwell QC told the Old Bailey the couple applied "pressure and relentless intimidation" to get her to admit Mr Walton had come to the house, and drugged and sexually abused the occupants with the help of an accomplice.

Mr Horwell told the court the defendants interrogated Miss Lionnet for hours about their "perverted suspicions" involving Ms Kouider's ex-partner.

Jurors were shown "harrowing" video footage of an emaciated Miss Lionnet making an apparent confession naming Mark Walton.

Mr Horwell: "You will have seen the state of Sophie when she uttered the words that can be heard on that video clip and whatever may be said about that final confession it is anything but voluntary.

"Sophie had been subjected to violence and a relentless inquisition. Those are her very last words. Within hours, Sophie's life was taken from her."

He suggested one motive for killing her was "punishment and revenge".

Image copyright Julia Quenzler for BBC
Image caption Ouissem Medouni and Sabrina Kouider deny murder

Mr Medouni also had a "prurient interest" in whether Miss Lionnet was having sex with Los Angeles-based Mr Walton, jurors heard.

Ms Kouider, 35, and Mr Medouni, 40, deny murdering her at their home in Wimbledon, south-west London.

Her body was found on a bonfire in the couple's back garden.

Image copyright Ryan Hooper
Image caption Sophie Lionnet's body was found after neighbours raised concerns about a fire in a back garden

Mr Horwell played snippets of more than eight hours of mobile phone recordings made by the defendants.

In extracts made in the weeks before Miss Lionnet's death, designer Kouider accused Miss Lionnet of being a paedophile and a spy and later said she could "smell sex" on her.

Miss Lionnet was almost inaudible as she denied it, telling the defendants she was "scared".

Her mother wept and fled the court as Ms Kouider was heard shouting at her daughter in a mixture of French and English.

In a recording on 11 September, Ms Kouider screamed: "You destroy everything. I was trying to find myself again.

"I pray to god not to make me touch you. I don't want to make my hands dirty."

The following day, the defendants accused Miss Lionnet of helping a "devil".

The trial continues.

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