- Author : Marc di Rosa
- Master : 2774
THE SOPHIE LIONNET CASE: THE TORMENT OF THE YOUNG AU-PAIR GIRL | Enquêtes criminelles | W9
On Wednesday, September 20 2017, in fashionable Wimbledon, South London, black smoke billows from a garden giving off a foul stench. When firefighters arrive, they discover a man burning the remains of a human body. The man is arrested. He is French and his name is Ouissem Medouni. He lives with his partner, Sabrina, her two children and a young au-pair girl, Sophie Lionnet. However, bizarrely, the au-pair is not to be found. Did she really leave two days earlier without giving any explanation as Sabrina claims? In France, the young woman’s parents are anxious because Sophie has shown no signs of life. Several days later, the body is formally identified: it is Sophie Lionnet. The young woman died in the couple’s bathroom and was then burned in the garden. Sabrina and Ouissem are jailed and charged with murder. In France, when Sophie’s parents learn the terrible news, their world collapses. But, as yet, they are unaware of all the torment their daughter suffered before she died. At the age of 21, having qualified to care for young children, Sophie Lionnet decides to become an au-pair with a family abroad. That is how she came to meet Sabrina, 34, and her partner, Ouissem, 40. Gradually, the young woman’s situation gets dramatically worse. Shy and reserved, she is exploited, isolated, receives no pay and is not allowed out. An infernal spiral begins: Sophie is locked in, physically and morally abused. She is totally in the grip of Sabrina, her employer. In the summer of 2017, things escalate in brutal fashion, during unimaginable torture sessions filmed by the couple. Then Sophie Lionnet finally succumbs to one, final, physical “interrogation” session in the bathroom. In March 2018, the couple’s trial opens in London. So, how did these parents of two young children become merciless torturers? Why do they accuse each other of Sophie’s death? For six weeks, the English justice system attempts to answer these questions as well as the terrible one that haunts Sophie’s parents: why was their daughter sacrificed in this way ?