Nigeria News
Sarah Everard murder: Wayne Couzens handed whole-life sentence

A Met Police officer who murdered Sarah Everard after kidnapping her under the guise of an arrest has been sentenced to a whole-life prison term.

Wayne Couzens abducted the 33-year-old as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham on 3 March.

Ahead of sentencing Couzens, 48, the judge said the case was “devastating, tragic and wholly brutal”.

“You’ve betrayed your family and there’s no evidence of genuine contrition,” he told Couzens.

Lord Justice Fulford described the circumstances of the kidnap, rape and murder as “grotesque”.

He said the seriousness of the case was so “exceptionally high” that it warranted a whole-life order.

“The misuse of a police officer’s role such as occurred in this case in order to kidnap, rape and murder a lone victim is of equal seriousness as a murder for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause,” he told the Old Bailey.

He paid tribute to the dignity of Ms Everard’s family, whose statements in court he said revealed the human impact of Couzens’ “warped, selfish and brutal offending which was both sexual and homicidal”.

The judge added that Couzens had eroded public confidence in the police in England and Wales.

As Wayne Couzens was told he would spend the rest of his life in prison, he kept his head down as he has throughout his time in the dock. He was shaking as he was sentenced.

The Everard family looked on. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was in court to hear the sentence. Her officer a convicted murderer and rapist.

Mr Justice Fulford told Couzens his offences were “warped, selfish and brutal”. The judge said Sarah “was simply walking home”.

Couzens will die in prison. A whole-life order means the criminal is in prison for the rest of their life without ever becoming eligible for parole.

These sentences are reserved for offenders judged to be the most dangerous to society.

After Couzens was sentenced, police officers who investigated the murder hugged the Everard family. But as her parents and sister said yesterday, all they want is Sarah back and no punishment will ever compare to the pain and torture Couzens had inflicted on them.

The court had heard how Couzens used his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card and handcuffs to abduct Ms Everard as she walked from Clapham to her Brixton home on night of 3 March.

The firearms officer, who had clocked off from a 12-hour shift at the US Embassy that morning, drove to a secluded rural area near Dover in Kent, where he parked up and raped Ms Everard.

‘Disgrace to the police service’

Ms Everard had been strangled with Couzens’ police-issue belt by 02:30 GMT the following morning.

Married Couzens then burned her body in a refrigerator in an area of woodland he owned in Hoads Wood, near Ashford, before dumping the remains in a nearby pond.

On 9 March, he was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, after police connected him to the hire car he used to abduct Ms Everard. Her remains were found by police dogs the next day.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said Couzens was “an absolute disgrace to the police service” and he was “ashamed he was ever a police officer”.

“I am proud to carry a warrant card, but this vile individual’s abuse of that authority has cast a shadow on all those who work within policing. He has brought disgrace to our uniform.

“The way he took advantage of Sarah’s trust makes me feel sick to the stomach.”

culled from BBC NEWS