Blue singer Duncan James 'threatened landlord with a crowbar' with nanny murder accused, court hears

Blue singer Duncan James threatened a landlord with a crowbar after striking up a friendship with a woman accused of murdering a French nanny, a court heard.

Mr James, 40, became “good friends” with Sabrina Kouider, 35, after she dated a founding member of Boyzone in 2012 named Mark Walton, the Old Bailey heard today.

After getting back with her financial analyst partner Ouissem Medouni  in September last year, Ms Kouider allegedly killed au pair Sophie Lionnet, 21, and disposed of the body on a bonfire at their home in Wimbledon, south west London.

She became obsessed that Miss Lionnet was in league with Mr Walton against her.

Giving evidence, Ms Kouider’s partner and co-accused Mr Medouni, 40, told how he fell in love with her at a French funfair when she was aged 19.

The Old Bailey (PA Archive/PA Images)

Despite discovering she was seeing other men and concerns for her mental well-being, he said he got back with her to support her financially.

Mr Medouni, who worked for Societe Generale in London, explained to the court how he had never been violent to a woman but that Ms Kouider had been violent towards him “a couple of times”.

Police were called when she complained of feeling “neglected” when he was working too hard, and on another occasion when she threatened to harm herself with a knife.

The court also heard of how the defendant said he became “very concerned” about her mental welfare when she set light to a curtain.

Mr Medouni said that in 2011, Ms Kouider revealed she had met a man in the music business called Mark, but went on to claim over a coffee that he had attacked her.

He told jurors: “She told me she had arguments with Mark and he tried to strangle her and was very violent to her, so I was a bit shocked.”

Ms Kouider then struck up a bond with the boy band Blue, in particular Mr James.

Singer Duncan James (PA)

She described him as “nice” and a “good friend”.

Orlando Pownall, defending QC, asked Mr Medouni if he knew anything about the pop singer’s sexuality, to which he replied Mr James “had both”.

The barrister asked Mr Medouni about an incident when police were called to Ms Kouider’s north London flat to reports of damage to the door after she had left.

Mr Pownall said the landlord complained she and a husband or partner had told him to “f*** off” before threatening him with a crowbar.

Mr Medouni said that Ms Kouider told him it was nearby resident Mr James who made the threat.

Describing his partner, Mr Medouni said she was the “dominant” one with tumultuous moods that would go “up and down very quickly in the space of seconds”.

“In the last years, every morning she would wake up screaming for nothing, and, if she had a dream about me being with another woman, she said it was going to happen and make up a story in her mind about it,” he added.

In regards to Miss Lionnet’s death, Mr Medouni told jurors he did not kill the nanny by his own hand or make a plan with Ms Kouider to cause her death.

Mr Pownall asked: “Did you cause her body to be burned in a fire in the garden at the back of Wimbledon Park Road?” to which Mr Medouni replied: “Yes”.

The barrister said: “Do you agree that you made many dreadful decisions in the course of the account you are about to give?”

The defendant replied: “Yes”.

Mr Medouni added that he covered up for Ms Kouider’s mental instability with police and social workers while she was becoming infatuated with Mr Walton.

He told the court how she was “jealous” of him talking to Miss Lionnet, who he described as “very shy” and liked staying in her room reading Harry Potter books.

Mr Medouni also said that Miss Lionnet had been paid £50 a week but the couple stopped her payment because Ms Kouider was “angry at her”.

Both Mr Medouni and Ms Kouider have admitted perverting the course of justice but deny murder.

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