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Sophie Lionnet: French au pair killer in conviction appeal

Sophie Lionnet Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Sophie Lionnet moved to London from her home in north-east France in January 2016

A man jailed for killing a French nanny and burning her body in the garden is to appeal against his conviction and prison sentence.

Ouissem Medouni and his partner Sabrina Kouider were both found guilty of murdering Sophie Lionnet, 21, who worked for the couple as their au pair.

Both were jailed for at least 30 years following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Medouni will appear at the Court of Appeal for his hearing, but a date is yet to be set.

Ms Lionnet was drowned in the bath on 20 September 2017, at the Wimbledon home of Medouni and Kouider, before her body was set on fire in the garden.

Both Kouider and Medoun admitted manslaughter, but denied murder and blamed one another during the trial.

Image caption Ouissem Medouni and Sabrina Kouider met in 2001 and had been in an on-off relationship

In the lead up to her death Ms Lionnet had been starved and tortured, the court heard.

Jurors were shown more than eight hours of recordings in which Ms Lionnet was slapped and called "worse than a murderer" by her tormentors.

On the day she died, Kouider and Medouni dunked her head into water, starved her, hit with an electrical cable and beat her so badly she had five broken ribs and a cracked breast bone.

But hours before her death, a filmed "confession" showed an emaciated Ms Lionnet forced to falsely claim she had drugged Medouni so ex-Boyzone singer Mark Walton could sexually assault him.

Giving evidence, Mr Walton, who is based in Los Angeles, told jurors the first he heard about Miss Lionnet was on 21 September 2017 when he was contacted by murder detectives.

Image caption The couple denied murder, but admitted burning Ms Lionnet's body in the garden of their home

Jurors convicted the couple of murder by a majority verdict of 10-2.

Kouider and Medouni were jailed at the Old Bailey on 26 June for life with a minimum term of 30 years in prison.

But the Court of Appeal received an appeal from Medouni on 10 July.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he was given permission by a judge to appeal both his conviction and sentence in November.

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