Wayne Couzens, the former London Metropolitan Police officer who abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, 33, was sentenced to life imprisonment Thursday. On Wednesday, the prosecutor described how Couzens fictitiously detained a woman and forced her into his car. Police released recordings of Everard’s arrest and the subsequent questioning of a former officer at his home in Deal.
Sarah Everard went missing in early March. She was walking that evening from her friend in Clapham, South London, to her home in Brixton. Her body was found a few days later in a forest near Ashford, Kent, about 100 kilometers from where she was last recorded by city surveillance cameras. British police later said the cause of death was “neck pressure”.
Until the murder in July Former London police officer, 48-year-old Wayne Couzens, already confessed. In early June, he testified before the London Criminal Court. He confessed that he had abducted and raped a 33-year-old girl. Thursday the man was sentenced to life imprisonment it is not possible to apply for early release. This is the highest possible sentence in the UK.
Fictitious arrest of Sarah Everard and interrogation of a former police officer
On Wednesday, prosecutor Tom Little, who presented the findings of the crime to the court, said murderer Everard, who was off-duty at the time, detained her on March 3 – possibly under the pretext of breaking covid restrictions at the time – and then “arrested” and handcuffed her . Couzens had been on patrols a few weeks earlier to see if people were leaving the house for legitimate reasons. After a fictitious stop, he put her in a previously rented car and drove her to Dover, where they got into his car.
The timing of Couzens’ detention of Everard was recorded on two tapes that were handed over to the court as evidence in the case on Wednesday. The first shows the two of them talking to each other on the sidewalk in the Clapham area of South London. Moments later, a car passed by, equipped with a camera, which captured Sarah, already seated in the back seat of a parked next to Couzens’ car. He took the wheel.
Police also showed a video of Everard of her kidnapping. It shows a woman buying a bottle of wine at a store in Brixton. Subsequent materials presented to the court were registered on March 5. These are pictures of Couzens, who shop in Dover at a coffee shop, gas station and DIY store.
Police also released a video of Couzens’ interrogation at his home in Deal on March 9. The man was handcuffed, and the officer in charge of the interview asked him about what had happened in Everard. Couzens denied any contact with the woman. He said that all he knows about the case is information heard in the media.
The prosecutor said that small fragments of the SIM card from Everard’s phone had been found in Couzens’ car. Couzens picked up her phone, then destroyed the card, and after the murder, he threw the camera into the river.
Little reported that Couzens had debts of up to £ 29,000. After his arrest, he claimed to have run into financial problems because he had fought with an Eastern European gang. Couzens has worked with the London Metropolitan Police since September 2018. In February 2020, he was transferred to a unit that patrols the vicinity of diplomatic missions in London. After being arrested and charged, he was thrown out of her.
Protests after the murder of Sarah Everard
The disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard has had high publicity in the UK and sparked a debate that women do not feel safe in the streets of British cities. Reuters reported that “the Everard murder sparked anger from women who spoke of their fear of walking alone in the streets in the evening.”
Soon after the murder of the woman in Clapham Common, Londoners piled flowers and candles. In the following weeks, crowded vigils and demonstrations were organized.
The banners and posters featured the following slogans: “Stop violence against women”, “Male violence is a pandemic”, “We live in fear, the police do not protect us”, “On the way home, I want to feel free, not brave”, or “Only men can stop male violence.” Most of the protesters, however, displayed the slogan: “She just went home.”
Main photo source: Reuters / METROPOLITAN POLICE