French au pair 'murdered' in London family's home spoke of 'tensions with host family'

 Sophie Lionnet had told her father she was considering returning home to France 

Will Worley
Monday 25 September 2017 15:00
Sophie Lionnet is believe to have looked after two children at a home in south London
Sophie Lionnet is believe to have looked after two children at a home in south London

A French au pair who is believed to have been murdered had reportedly spoken to her father of tensions with her employers.

Police have charged Sabrina Kouider, 34, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, of Wimbledon Park Road, Southfields, with the murder of 21-year-old Sophie Lionnet.

A body was found badly burned in a bonfire in the garden of the couple’s south London home last week.

The alarm was raised after neighbours complained of foul-smelling smoke.

In July, Lionnet, from Troyes, northern France, had told her father, Patrick Lionnet, she was thinking of coming home because of tensions with Ms Kouider and Mr Medouni.

In an interview with his local newspaper, L’Est Éclair, Mr Lionnet said: “Nothing indicated that it was so serious. If it had, I would have gone to join her.”

He added: “It’s unthinkable. I don’t know if I can stand up to the shock or collapse.”

Mr Lionnet said he had not slept since the news of his daughter’s apparent murder.

It is believed she looked after Ms Kouider’s children, a three-year-old girl and six-year-old boy, at the house.

Despite the burned body being named locally as that of Ms Lionnet, it has not yet been formally identified.

Further tests will have to be carried out after initial investigations proved inconclusive.

Scotland Yard said a post-mortem examination carried out last Friday failed to confirm the cause of death.

Ms Kouider and Mr Medouni will appear in the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

A police spokesman said two children had been taken into care following the incident.

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