Murder-accused fashion designer bragged of Donald Trump links, court told

A fashion designer accused of killing her French nanny claimed to have "friends in high places" and even name-checked US President Donald Trump, a court heard.

Sabrina Kouider bragged about her connections as she interrogated Sophie Lionnet about supposed links to her ex-boyfriend Mark Walton, formerly of Boyzone.

On September 11 last year, days before the 21-year-old au pair's death, Kouider told her: "You know very well that all my friends are in high places.

"When I told you about Donald Trump you started laughing.

"When I told you about my friends, you have seen them, those in journalism, actors, producers, in make-up, in fashion, in music. They are clean people."

Under cross-examination, her partner Ouissem Medouni confirmed she did know one film producer and a journalist.

Sophie Lionnet death court case
Sophie Lionnet was allegedly killed by her employers and then burned on a bonfire in their Wimbledon garden (Metropolitan Police/PA)

But prosecutor Richard Horwell QC said: "Do you think she was a little delusional about the people she knew and the contacts that she had?"

Medouni replied: "I would say that she knew people, but not as famous."

Mr Horwell said: "Is the reality she may have made statements like 'I know people in high places' and didn't?"

The defendant failed to respond.

Kouider, 35, and Medouni, 40, are accused of torturing Miss Lionnet over false claims she was in league with LA-based Mr Walton.

In September last year, they allegedly killed her in the bath then burned her body on a bonfire in their garden in Wimbledon, south-west London.

The Old Bailey heard the couple's relentless questioning of Miss Lionnet culminated in a videoed "confession" hours before her death.

Southfields murder
Ouissem Medouni has blamed his partner for beating Sophie Lionnet (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Mr Horwell suggested Miss Lionnet, who suffered broken ribs and breast bone, was "terrified" of the defendants.

But Medouni maintained she was "terrified of telling what really happened, she was doing what he (Mr Walton) asked her to do".

Mr Horwell went on: "Is your evidence to the jury that during this process Sophie was not frightened of either you or Sabrina?

"She had four broken ribs and a fractured sternum. You knew she had difficulty walking and that quite often means some form of internal injury."

Medouni, who has blamed his partner for beating Miss Lionnet, said: "It was not me. I didn't know."

But he admitted Miss Lionnet was "not in a good state" in the final video, in which she appeared cowed and emaciated as she confirmed the couple's outlandish beliefs about Mr Walton.

The prosecutor asserted: "It's a crazy story and you happened to believe it.

"So what did you think of your handiwork by the time the video had been taken? Pleased with what you had to show the police?"

Medouni told jurors that he was "not pleased".

The defendants have admitted perverting the course of justice but deny murder.

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