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A London couple who murdered their French nanny after developing a delusional obsession with a former boy-band star were sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison.
Sabrina Kouider, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, were convicted last month of killing 21-year-old Sophie Lionnet at their south London home in September. Each had denied murder and blamed the other.
Prosecutors say the pair, who are also French, killed Lionnet after becoming obsessed with the false belief she was in league with Kouider's ex-boyfriend Mark Walton, a music producer and founding member of Irish boy band Boyzone.
Kouider was said to be fixated on Walton and believed Lionnet was having an affair with him and helping him carry out a sex-abuse plot — though in fact the two had never met. Kouider and Medouni repeatedly beat Lionnet in an attempt to make her confess.
After killing her in a bathtub in September, they threw her body on a bonfire in their yard in an affluent area of southwest London. When neighbors called firefighters because of the pungent-smelling smoke, Medouni claimed the charred remains belonged to a sheep.
At London's Central Criminal Court, Judge Nicholas Hilliard sentenced Kouider and Medouni to life with no chance of parole for 30 years. He said the pair was guilty of "horrible cruelty."
"The suffering and the torture you put her through before her death was prolonged and without pity," the judge said.