Former lover was abusive, says ex-Boyzone member

LONDON • A woman accused of murdering a nanny has been described as "manipulative" by a former lover who was a member of Irish band Boyzone.

Mark Walton, now a judge on Pop Idol Vietnam, told London's Old Bailey court that fashion designer Sabrina Kouider was "abusive" and exhibited a "controlling nature" during their relationship.

Kouider, 35, and her partner Ouissem Medouni, 40, are accused of killing Sophie Lionnet. All three are French.

"She would go from a softlyspoken French accent, then she would flip, get very angry, very loud and just not care where we were," said Walton. "She would just go crazy over something trivial."

Lionnet was hired in January 2016 to look after two children. Her charred remains were discovered in the house's garden on Sept 20 that year. Prosecutors earlier told the court that the couple had subjected Lionnet to "a campaign of intimidation, torture and violence".

When her remains were found, Medouni told the fire brigade that he had burnt a sheep.

Kouider alleged that Walton had recruited Lionnet to spy on her in exchange for money and the promise of "fame".

Walton said the couple lived together for two years, but that Kouider had accused him of being a paedophile after he moved out and stopped paying rent. "I was broken, emotionally broken, but I loved her," he told the court.

Kouider and Medouni have admitted to perverting the course of justice by attempting to burn the body, but deny murder.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Former lover was abusive, says ex-Boyzone member'. Print Edition | Subscribe