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British ex-policeman wrongly arrested and murdered Sarah Everard sentenced to life

Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday.

Couzens faced kidnapping, rape and murder charges from the 33-year-old marketing manager after her disappearance on March 3.

The judge said Everard was a “completely blameless victim” and Couzens used his police position to “coerce” her.

Lord Justice Fulford said this was an exceptional case worthy of such punishment, because “in my opinion the abuse of the role of a police officer is of equal gravity to murder committed for the purpose of to commit murder for an ideological cause “.

The judge said given the planning and preparation, Couzens had to be aware that he might have to kill the woman he kidnapped.

Lord Justice Fulford explained that he had taken the defense arguments into account – he called Couzens’ crimes a “twisted, selfish and brutal offense, both sexual and homicidal”.

The judge said that “the accused had planned well in advance” and gave a false account that he was acting under coercion by a gang when he was first approached by police about the matter. of Everard’s disappearance.

The judge said: “At no time did he provide a full explanation of what happened.”

Before the judge’s conviction, Couzens’ defense attorney Jim Sturman QC said he was filled with “self-loathing” after his crimes and said: “He accepts that he will receive and deserves punishment. severe.”

Sturman said Couzens shouldn’t have a lifetime order because he pleaded guilty.

He also claimed that Couzens suffered from underlying depression and had no previous convictions for violence, so he should have “a chance to redeem himself and repent.”

Everard’s family said on Wednesday that there could be “no redemption for what he did.” Couzens did not watch the family during the hearing at Old Bailey in London.

This is breaking news and will be updated.

Couzens movements before and after the murder

A week after her boyfriend reported her missing, Everard’s remains were found in Ashton, Kent, about 20 miles from Couzens’ home.

He kidnapped her on her way back to a friend’s house in Clapham in the evening.

A court heard on Wednesday that she was handcuffed in a false arrest by a duty officer Couzens, who showed Everard her police ID card and claimed she violated COVID lockdown rules -19.

A couple saw Couzens kidnap Everard, but assumed she had done something wrong while she was with a cop.

Everard was placed in Couzens’ rental car before being driven 80 miles to Kent. At one point, she was transferred to her family car.

He then raped her in a rural area near her home in Deal, before strangling her to death with his police belt.

Although he purchased items used in the murder in the days leading up to Everard’s capture, he also traveled across the UK to purchase materials such as gasoline so that he could burn his body. after his death in a refrigerator.

He returned to the scene three times – on one of those occasions he brought his children.

Meanwhile, Couzens phoned the vet and dentist, called the sick man at work, returned the rental car, washed the family car, and threw Everard’s phone into a canal in Sandwich.

He attempted to dispose of Everard’s body in a green builder’s bag in a nearby pond.

She was found seven days after her abduction on March 10 near the refrigerator. Pathology reports revealed her body was too damaged to discover all of her injuries, but there was evidence of charred tissue on her face.

Describing the prosecution case, Tom Little QC said: “While it is impossible to sum up what the accused did to Sarah Everard in just five words, if it were to be done it would be appropriate to do so. like “deception, kidnapping, rape, strangulation, arson. ‘ “

Family document / AP

Sarah Everard

Backlash to the Met

Everard’s disappearance sparked international outrage against women’s safety, especially after Metropolitan Police officers attempted to disperse vigils and peaceful protests in her honor across the country in the name of security COVID.

Couzens, 48, was a Metropolitan Police officer at the time of Everard’s murder – he was only fired after he pleaded guilty to his crimes in July at the Old Bailey.

The morning before he kidnapped Everard, he was off from a 12-hour shift at the U.S. Embassy.

The commissioner she met, Dame Cressida Dick, said she felt “disgusted, angry and devastated” by her crimes at the time.

The Met faced further backlash for trying to distance themselves from Couzens.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is currently investigating whether the previous allegations against Couzens were properly addressed.

The Sun claimed Couzens was nicknamed “the rapist” when he worked as a civilian nuclear police officer.

An incident with Couzens’ behavior was also reported in 2002, and his colleagues knew he was “drawn to violent sex pornography,” Old Bailey said Wednesday.

Ex-DCI Simon Harding sparked even more fury when he pulled police away from Couzens, telling Sky News on Wednesday: “Police do not consider Wayne Couzens to be a cop.

“They see him as a murderer who happens to be a police officer – rather than the other way around, a police officer who is a murderer. And that’s a really important thing.

“He doesn’t have the same values ​​as a police officer. He doesn’t have the same personality as us. He is a very sick and dangerous individual who should never have been near a uniform.

Critics hit back at the Met, saying the police shouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

Growing fears for the safety of women

Everard’s case has been re-examined in recent weeks, following the murder of 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa in London on September 17 as she walked to meet a friend near Cator Park.

Police arrested and charged a male suspect in his murder.


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