Sarah Everard: Wayne Couzens who kidnapped, raped and murdered marketing executive faces life sentence today

A DEPRAVED police officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard is facing a whole life sentence when he returns to court today.

Wayne Couzens, 48, snatched the 33-year-old off the streets and raped her as she walked home in Clapham Common, South West London, on March 3.

The Met Police officer, who has been sacked from the force, is facing a whole life tariff when he is sentenced – meaning he will die behind bars.

A two-day hearing starting today will hear harrowing details of Sarah's death and how Couzens was eventually caught by cops.

The monster pleaded guilty to kidnap, rape and murder in July as Sarah's heartbroken family watched from the public gallery.

Bizarrely, Couzens claimed he kidnapped Sarah, who was a stranger to him, for a "gang of Eastern Europeans".

His vile web of lies means police have never found out the real reason why he snatched and strangled Sarah.

Couzens instead claimed he was unable to pay for a prostitute he met in a Holiday Inn in Folkestone so was ordered to find "another girl" otherwise his family would be harmed.

The sex-mad cop told officers he drove Sarah to a lay-by between Ashford and Maidstone where three men got out of a van and took the marketing executive.

The dad-of-two then suggested the trio had murdered Sarah – even though her body was discovered on land he owned.

His twisted plot was also discovered after it emerged he had bought a grisly killing kit four days after snatching Sarah.

The monster purchased an adhesive film, carpet protector, tarpaulin, and a cargo net on March 7 from Amazon.

Couzens was also seen buying two large green rubble bags from B&Q on March 5 – the same day he called his work to say he was "suffering from stress" and was unable to work.

The predator also wiped his phone just minutes before he was arrested as part of his murderous plot.

Sarah's body had to be identified by dental records after being found in a builder's bag in woodland in Ashford, Kent.

Post-mortem results later revealed she died from a compression to the neck.

Timeline of Sarah’s disappearance

March 3

9pm: Sarah leaves a friend's house in Clapham, South West London, and begins the 50-minute walk home to Brixton

9.15pm: The marketing executive is first seen on CCTV as she speaks to her boyfriend on the phone for around 14 minutes

9.27pm: The call ends and Sarah is seen a minute later on CCTV and again at 9.28pm

9.38pm: Two figures are seen standing by the white Vauxhall Astra Couzens rented

1am: Couzens' car is seen arriving in Kent after number plate recognition tracks it leaving London

March 4:

Sarah is reported missing by her boyfriend after failing to attend a meeting at work

March 6:

Police releases an appeal over her disappearance and release CCTV images of her.

They reveal she was walking through the Common and should have arrived home around 50 minutes later.

March 7:

Further images taken on a doorbell camera are released showing Sarah walking alone on the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill, south of Brixton.

It has since been revealed this is the road where she was snatched by Couzens

March 9:

The search for Sarah is stepped up as police search Sarah's route home, ponds in Clapham Common and drains along the A205.

At midnight, police confirmed a police officer has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.

A woman is also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender but no charges are brought against her.

March 10:

Cops begin searching two locations in Kent – including a home in Deal and woodland near Ashford.

They later reveal the arrested cop has now been re-arrested on suspicion of murder despite Sarah remaining missing.

The cop is identified as 48-year-old Wayne Couzens, who works in the Met Police's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announces human remains have been found in the search for Sarah in woodland in Ashford.

March 11:

Couzens is taken to hospital for a head wound sustained in custody where he is still being quizzed for murder.

Meanwhile, police reveal a probe has been launched by Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into whether officers "responded appropriately" to a report of indecent exposure linked to the suspect.

Sarah's family release a tribute to "kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable” Sarah.

March 12:

Sarah's body is formally identified as police confirm Couzens was accused of exposing himself twice at a McDonald's three days before her disappearance.

He is later charged with kidnap and murder hours after being taken to hospital for a second time with a head injury.

June 1

A post-mortem reveals Sarah was strangled to death.

June 8:

Couzens pleads guilty to kidnap and murder and accepts responsibility for her killing.

July 9:

The cop pleads guilty to Sarah's murder

July 16:

Couzens is finally sacked by the Met Police following a hearing

September 29:

His two-day sentencing begins

Sarah vanished after walking home from a friend's house in Clapham, South West London, on March 3.

She had spent around 14 minutes on the phone to her boyfriend but her mobile was never recovered.

Sarah was seen alone on CCTV at 9.15pm, again at 9.28pm and was later captured on the camera of a marked police car at 9.32pm.

Chilling footage taken at 9.38pm showed two figures standing by Couzens' white Vauxhall Astra.

It is understood she was snatched by the fiend just seconds later.

Couzens had rented the car, which was also seen at 1am in Kent, on February 28 using his name, address and two different mobile phones.

He then returned the car the next morning and called his work saying he did not want to carry a firearm anymore.


Gun cop Couzens, who joined the Met Police in 2018, was charged with kidnap and murder more than a week after Sarah first vanished when police swooped on his home in Deal, Kent.

The cop, who worked on the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, had finished a shift earlier on the morning of March 3 and was not on duty at the time of Sarah's disappearance.

Despite wiping his phone, data on the device linked Couzens to the abduction and eventually the area where Sarah was found.

While in custody, former mechanic Couzens was twice taken to hospital with head injuries.

Questions are now mounting over why Couzens was even still on the force following a wave of indecent exposure claims made against him.

Shockingly, Couzens was not given enhanced vetting when he joined the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit in February 2020.

This was despite colleagues in the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where he worked before the Metropolitan Police, nicknaming him The Rapist.

Twelve police officers are being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct for gross misconduct over matters relating to the case.

The watchdog is probing whether the Met failed to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure relating to Couzens just four days before he took Sarah.

A separate investigation is also ongoing into claims Kent Police failed to follow up on an allegation of indecent exposure in Dover in 2015.

How murder of Sarah Everard sparked ‘tidal wave’ of grief and fears about women’s safety

SARAH’S tragic death caused global outrage and sparked a ‘tidal wave’ of grief.

The haunting words 'she was just walking home' screamed from social media platforms as women revealed their own horror stories.

Many told how they had been harassed on the street and public transport – with one even flashed at a vigil for Sarah.

The outpouring prompted the Home Office to reopen a public consultation on tackling violence against women and girls, which then received more than 160,000 responses.

Vigils were held across the country as outraged Brits paid tribute to Sarah.

Campaign group Reclaim These Streets was formed in the wake of Sarah's death.

Jamie Klingler, one of the founders, said: "It feels like a tidal wave of half of the population saying: 'This is your problem, you need to fix it and you need to fix it now – we're not taking it any more'."

Some of the vigils were mired by violence as heavy-handed cops arrested protesters.

A planned event due to be held in London on Clapham Common had been cancelled due to the pandemic but thousands still attended to pay their respects.

Kate Middelton was among those who came to look at a shrine made near where Sarah was last seen.

Sarah's death sparked vigils across the country and demands for action to tackle violence against women.

Thousands of women shared stories on social media about how they had been harassed while on the street and public transport.

Campaign group Reclaim These Streets was formed in the wake of Sarah's death with a vigil in Clapham Common attended by Kate Middleton.

The movement has continued in recent weeks following the killing of 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa in Kidbrooke, South East London.

Sarah's family previously paid tribute to their "bright and beautiful daughter and sister".

In a statement, they said: “Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister. 

“She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour. 

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all.

“We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.”

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