‘Courtesy and respect’ key to deliberations in French nanny murder trial
The jury are on their sixth day of deliberaions in the Sophie Lionnet murder trial at the Old Bailey.
A jury was told to act with “courtesy and respect” as they consider verdicts in the trial of a couple accused of murdering their French nanny.
Sabrina Kouider, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, are on trial at the Old Bailey for allegedly torturing and killing 21-year-old Sophie Lionnet at their home near Wimbledon, south west London.
After the shy au pair died in September last year, they disposed of her body on a bonfire in the back garden, jurors have heard.
The prosecution has alleged the pair killed Miss Lionnet after being obsessed that she was in league with Kouider’s ex-boyfriend Mark Walton, a founding member of Boyzone.
The defendants have admitted perverting the course of justice by burning the body but deny murder, blaming each other for her death.
The jury began deliberating on verdicts last Wednesday afternoon and was given words of advice by judge Nicholas Hilliard on their sixth day in retirement.
He told them: “It’s obviously a responsible job that you have got as jurors and it can be a stressful one, everybody understands that.
“Obviously you will help each other manage that process. You might not all agree and each of you must be true to the oath or affirmation you took.
“But as I have said to you it’s important everybody is listened to politely and all your discussions are conducted with courtesy and respect.
“If anybody feels that is not happening and feels untoward pressure of any kind you must let me know. If you want a break at any time you can have one.”
Just before 4pm, Judge Hilliard handed the jurors a majority direction saying he would accept verdicts on which at least 10 of them were agreed.
Jurors were later sent home and told to return to resume deliberations at 9.30am on Thursday.