Couple Sabrina Kouider and Ouissem Medouni were found guilty of murdering their French au pair Sophie Lionnet, who was hired to care for their two children.
The couple were said to be having a shared delusions about Kouider’s ex, Mark Walton, and believed Lionnet was working with him in some capacity, according to The Guardian. Walton is a former member of the band Boyzone—he had never met nor heard of Lionnet before the couple’s arrest.
According to the Telegraph, Kouider had reported Walton to the police 30 times in the two years since she had split with him, and falsely accused him of being a pedophile via a fake Facebook account. Kouider has also reported him for “sexually abusing a cat, using black magic and hiring a helicopter to spy on her.”
The judge in the case believed that Kouider and Medouni had folie a deux, or “madness of two,” a mutual, unsubstantiated belief that Lionnet was in league with Walton, stating that she was sneaking out of the house to meet with and have sex with him. Lionnet died while the two were interrogating her in the bathroom of their house in southwest London:
Banker Medouni became an ardent believer in Kouider’s twisted reality and they interrogated Miss Lionnet for hours to get to “the truth”.
Jurors heard more than eight hours of recordings in which Miss Lionnet was slapped, likened to a Nazi collaborator and called “worse than a murderer” by her tormentors.
Before her death, Lionnet was starved and beaten regularly. Her autopsy revealed she died with five broken ribs and a broken breast bone. Neighbors called the police to report the smell of Lionnet’s body being burned in a pit in the couple’s yard. The couple will be sentenced on in June.