Sophie Lionnet death: Body parts found in bonfire

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

A fireman has described to a jury the moment he discovered the charred remains of French nanny Sophie Lionnet in a bonfire.

Thomas Hunt was in a crew called to reports of smoke and a "horrible" smell emanating from the garden of Sabrina Kouider and Ouissem Medouni's home.

He told the court he realised there was a body among the ashes when he saw "two blackened logs", clothes and jewellery.

Ms Kouider, 35, and Mr Medouni, on trial at the Old Bailey, deny murder.

The pair are accused of torturing and killing Ms Lionnet, 21, at their home in Wimbledon, south-west London.

'Nose and fingers'

They have admitted perverting the course of justice by attempting to burn her body.

Mr Hunt told the court he confronted Mr Medouni after noticing a "nose and fingers" in the remnants of the fire.

"When I recognised it was a body I was concerned for my crew's safety so held it to myself for what seemed like 20 seconds because I did not know if I challenged the occupant what might happen next", he said.

"I turned to the occupant and asked 'Why are you burning a body?"

"He said 'It's a sheep'."

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

In response, Mr Hunt said, he accused Mr Medouni of lying.

Asked how Mr Medouni seemed, he said: "Very calm. When I challenged him he shrugged off the accusation.

"When he sat down there was a look of resignation on him, like 'The game's up, I've been caught'."

Another fireman, Joseph Wood, said in a statement read to the court: "As soon as I saw the nose on the body, I called for police assistance as a body was being burned."

Jurors have been told that "shy" Miss Lionnet's last words were recorded in a so-called video-taped confession on 18 September.

The defendants allegedly beat and interrogated her for hours over a false accusation that she was in league with Ms Kouider's ex-boyfriend, Mark Walton, a founding member of the band Boyzone.

The trial continues.

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

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.