Sophie Lionnet death: Murder accused 'screamed abuse at nanny'

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image captionSophie Lionnet was "afraid" and "recoiled" as Sabrina Kouider screamed at her, the Old Bailey heard

The woman accused of murdering her French nanny was "abusive" and "violent" towards her, a court has heard.

Sophie Lionnet, 21, was allegedly tortured and killed by Sabrina Kouider, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, at their home in Wimbledon, south-west London.

Family friend Steven Brown told the Old Bailey he heard Ms Kouider screaming at Ms Lionnet when he visited.

The couple have admitted they tried to dispose of her body, but deny murder.

Ms Lionnet's charred remains were discovered at the garden of their house on 20 September last year.

Mr Brown told the court he witnessed Ms Kouider screaming at Ms Lionnet in French on more than one occasion when he visited the house in 2016.

He described Ms Kouider as "abusive and aggressive - violent", adding: "It was horrible."

"Sophie was afraid, she recoiled," he told the court.

image source, Julia Quenzler for BBC
image captionOuissem Medouni and Sabrina Kouider deny murder

He said the au pair looked "scared and hungry" and was wearing a jumper, which completely covered her arms and neck, at the height of summer.

"She seemed very uncomfortable, like she was in some kind of a trance or something - she didn't look right," he added.

Mr Brown said he was so worried about Ms Lionnet eating enough that he took a shepherd's pie round for her.

He said when he confronted Ms Kouider about her behaviour, she said Ms Lionnet was "lazy" and did not do enough cooking.

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

Her body was found after neighbours raised concerns about a fire in the couple's back garden.

Prosecutor Richard Horwell QC previously told the court that the defendants "burned her body in the garden of their home in the hope that no-one would ever discover her remains".

Following her death, more than eight hours of "harrowing" recordings were recovered from the defendants' mobile phones of Ms Lionnet being interrogated, the court heard.

Mr Horwell said they depicted "a young emaciated, frightened and helpless woman".

The trial continues.

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