When 21-year-old French nanny Sophie Lionnet made her way from her tiny, rural town 100 kilometres north east of Paris to London in January 2016, she was excited, her mum remembers.
She was young and she had dreams to fulfil; the world to see. There, she would care devotedly for two little boys aged eight and four, she thought. But there, the reality was she would be subject to a calculated campaign of torture.
Within months of arriving in south-west London, Lionnet repeatedly wrote “I want to go home” and “I want to leave” in a series of notes. She was trapped in the house of her abusers – tortured by the couple employing her – with no means and no money to get home.
On September 20 last year, concerned neighbours called the police after smelling a fire coming from next door. Firefighters arrived to discover 40-year-old Ouissem Medoun cooking food on a barbecue in an attempt to “disguise his real purpose of rendering the body unrecognisable”, police would later say.
Medouni, the father of the two boys the young nanny cared for, was trying to burn her corpse with caustic acid. She was dead, and he wanted no trace of her living.
In the months before curled up remains were found charred in a bonfire, Sophie Lionnet was mercilessly abused by 35-year-old Sabrina Kouider and her 40-year-old partner, Ouissem Medouni.
On Thursday, after a three-month trial, they were found guilty of murder.
The court found Lionnet was beaten, starved and tortured after Kouider was falsely convinced she was dating her ex-boyfriend, music mogul Mark Walton, The Guardian reports.
Walton, a former member of Boyzone, was the subject of Kouider's fixation. In fact, according to The Guardian, the prosecution claimed she (and subsequently Medoun, too) had an “unhealthy, myopic, all-consuming and groundless” obsession with the singer.