Ex-Met Police Officer Says He Received Hate Messages Over Handling of Wayne Couzens Flashing Cases | UK News
A former Metropolitan Police officer has said she has received hundreds of hate messages since being banned from the police for her handling of two flashing incidents by Wayne Couzens.
Samantha Lee failed to conduct “appropriate investigative inquiries” into the breaches, where Couzens exposed himself to female workers at a McDonalds restaurant in Kent in late February 2021, a disciplinary committee found.
Both incidents took place just days before he kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.
His failure to investigate properly and the lying about his actions was ruled gross misconductwhich resulted in her being banned from any police force in the future.
Ms Lee, 29, said she felt ‘completely blamed’ for Ms Everard’s death and had received messages from people saying she should have been the one who was kidnapped and murdered.
She told BBC Newsnight: “I think I’m seen as this horrible, awful person who let an absolutely heinous crime happen. And I’m looked at as if I’m as guilty as Couzens.
“But literally there was nothing I could have done that would have changed the outcome.
“I don’t want any sympathy. All I want is for people to understand that there’s nothing I could have done.
Sarah Everard’s killer ‘is entitled to a police pension’
Couzens joked about sexual assault in WhatsApp messages
“It’s been a case of ‘let’s go down’ rather than going higher up.
“The only person who should be blamed for this horrible, horrible, horrible crime should be Wayne Couzens.”
The court heard she was sent to McDonalds in Swanley on March 3, 2021, questioning manager Sam Taylor just hours before Couzens abducted Ms Everard from Clapham in south-west London.
Ms Lee said she believed the restaurant’s CCTV had been taken down automatically so there would be no video of Couzens of the breach, but Mr Taylor said he showed her the footage and told him it could be saved to a USB drive.
He also said he told her Couzens’ vehicle license plate could be seen in CCTV footage of the second incident.
Ms Lee said after the decision that she had been ‘scapegoated’, adding: ‘I am a young PC and I am the only person who has been disciplined for this.
“There is only one person responsible for everything that happened and that is Wayne Couzens.
“I never lied.”
Couzens was sentenced in March this year to 19 months in prison on three counts of indecent exposure – both at McDonalds and one where he exposed himself to a female cyclist in Kent in November 2020.
When he was convicted, he was already serving life in prison for what he had done to Ms Everard.