Wayne Couzens trial latest – Sarah Everard's killer could DIE in prison as he faces whole life sentence in court today

WAYNE Couzens could die behind bars if given a whole-life tariff today for the murder of Sarah Everard.

The Met Police gun cop, 48, snatched Sarah, 33, off the streets of Clap, south London as she walked home from a friend's home on March 3.

Harrowing details of Sarah's murder fake arrest, kidnap and murder were revealed for the first time yesterday as part of Couzens' sentencing.

If handed a whole life tariff, Wayne Couzens will join a string of some of the country's most dangerous offenders who are expected to die behind bars.

There are 60 criminals serving whole life orders, according to Government figures to the end of June.

They will never be considered for release, unless there are exceptional compassionate grounds to warrant it.

Read our Wayne Couzens sentencing live blog for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    What we know about Sarah’s murder

    • A couple saw Sarah Everard being kidnapped by Wayne Couzens and assumed it was ‘undercover arrest’
    • Sarah Everard’s brave mum ‘haunted by the horror’ of daughter’s final hours as dad tells killer to face them in court
    • Wayne Couzens handcuffed & ‘arrested’ Sarah Everard in ‘fake Covid patrol’ to kidnap her off street before murder
    • Killer cop Wayne Couzens used his police belt to strangle Sarah Everard after luring her off street in fake arrest
    • Wayne Couzens took family on ‘day out’ to woods after burning Sarah Everard’s body and let kids play near her remains
    • Shocking CCTV shows moment Wayne Couzens lured Sarah Everard off street in staged fake Covid stop
    • Chilling moment Wayne Couzens bought Costa hot chocolate and bakewell tart after murdering Sarah Everard
    • Sarah Everard’s mum, dad and sister’s incredibly powerful and brave victim statements revealed in full

    Couzens being sentenced for kidnap, rape & murder

    Harrowing details of Sarah’s murder were revealed for the first time yesterday as the Met Police officer is sentenced for kidnap, rape and murder.

    The Old Bailey heard how Couzens used his warrant card to lure Sarah into his car as she walked home by claiming he was on a Covid patrol.

    Just five minutes later, terrified Sarah was driven for 80 miles from London to Kent at the start of a “lengthy ordeal” that was to lead “inexorably to her rape and murder”.

    How to ensure a police officer's intentions are legitimate

    People can ask the police for identification and ask them under what power they are making the arrest, as well as their “reasonable grounds” for believing you have committed a crime.

    If you’re arrested the police must:

    • identify themselves as the police
    • tell you that you’re being arrested
    • tell you what crime they think you’ve committed
    • explain why it’s necessary to arrest you
    • explain to you that you’re not free to leave

     

    • Joseph Gamp

      What is a whole life order?

      Whole life orders are the most severe punishment available in the UK criminal justice system for those who commit the most serious crimes.

      If handed such a sentence, Wayne Couzens will join a string of some of the country's most dangerous offenders who are expected to die behind bars.

      There are 60 criminals serving whole life orders, according to Government figures to the end of June.

      They will never be considered for release, unless there are exceptional compassionate grounds to warrant it.

      Milly Dowler's killer Levi Bellfield is thought to be the only criminal in UK legal history to be serving two whole life orders – for her murder, the killings of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange as well as the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Treasury minister calls Sarah death 'appalling'

      Treasury minister Simon Clarke said the story of the murder of Sarah Everard was one that "will remain with us for a generation".

      "It's an appalling story and something that has genuinely shocked all of us, I'm roughly Sarah's age," he told Sky News.

      "It is one of those ones that will remain with us for a generation.

      "It is so important to emphasise that Wayne Couzens, who is a monster, does not represent the work of all those tens of thousands of police men and women who go about every day to keep us safe.

      "The reality is that no system can guard against what Mr Couzens did … what he did was monstrous and beyond anyone's ability to really have foreseen.

      "In so far as there are lessons to be learnt, I know the Metropolitan Police will look at it very seriously."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Keir Starmer: Warning signs about Couzens

      Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said it is essential to establish how the police officer who killed Sarah Everard was able to "slip through the net".

      Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, said there had been "warning signs" concerning Wayne Couzens.

      He told LBC Radio: "That is the key issue – how did he slip through the net? There were obviously warning signs, so how did he get through?

      "I know that thousands upon thousands of police officers doing a fantastic job are absolutely sickened by this.

      "How on earth did he get through the net is the critical question that has got to be answered."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Couzens faces whole life sentence

      An officer who strangled Sarah Everard with his police belt after kidnapping her under the guise of a fake arrest for breaking lockdown rules is facing a whole life sentence.

      Wayne Couzens, 48, used his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card and handcuffs to snatch Ms Everard as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.

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

      The marketing executive, who lived in Brixton, south London, had been strangled with Couzens' police belt by 2.30am the following morning.

      Married Couzens 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.

      He was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, after police connected him to a hire car he used to abduct Ms Everard, whose remains were found by police dogs on March 10.

    • Louis Allwood

      Couple saw Sarah Everard being kidnapped and assumed it was ‘undercover arrest’

      A couple saw Sarah Everard being snatched from the streets by a monster cop but assumed he was making an undercover arrest.

      Wayne Couzens, 48, had stalked the 33-year-old as she made her way home from a pal’s house in Clapham, South West London, on March 3.

      He then ambushed her on the street by making a fake arrest after claiming she had breached Covid rules.

      The Old Bailey heard today how a couple were driving past when they witnessed Sarah being put in Couzen’s car and driven to her death.

      Prosecutor Tom Little QC said: “Sarah Everard was compliant, with her head down and did not appear to be arguing.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      Couzens to be sentenced today

      Couzens, 48, will today be sentenced for the rape, kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.

      It comes after he snatched 33-year-old off the streets earlier this year as she walked home from a friend’s home in Clapham, South London.

      Sarah’s family faced the monster in court on Wednesday as they gave heartbreaking impact statements.

    • Louis Allwood

      Couzens continued with life after horrific murder

      He then treated himself to a hot chocolate with coconut milk and bakewell tart from Costa just hours after the murder.

      The next morning, Couzens returned the rental car and chucked Sarah’s phone into a river in Sandwich, Kent.

      He also bought petrol which he used to burn Sarah’s body before calling his vet to make an appointment for the family dog about “possible medication for separation anxiety”.

      Sickeningly, Couzens even took his family to the woodland where he dumped Sarah’s body just four days after murdering her.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Couzens tried to blame Eastern European gang

      Killer police officer Wayne Couzens claimed he had “no choice” but to kidnap Sarah Everard and hand her over to an Eastern European gang after he tried to “rip off” one of their call girls.

      The 48-year-old made the false claims during an interview at his home in Deal, Kent, after he was arrested on March 9 2021.

      Sitting on his sofa in handcuffs, wearing a white t-shirt and dark shorts, Couzens first claimed not to know 33-year-old Ms Everard when he was shown her photo.

      He then said he was in “financial shit” and had been “leant on” by a gang to pick up girls for them.

      In footage released by police, Couzens claims he had tried to “rip off” one of their call girls and the gang had approached him during another booking with her at the Burstin Hotel, in Folkestone.

    • Louis Allwood

      WEB OF LIES

      Couzens spun a web of lies after he was arrested – meaning Sarah’s heartbroken family and the police never found out the real reason why he snatched and strangled Sarah.

      He was painted today as a sex mad fiend despite portraying the image of a married dad-of-two and even contacted escorts and used a Match.com dating profile.

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

      He was in debt by about £29,000 with additional credit card debt at the time he murdered Sarah.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Crime ‘could warrant a whole life order’

      Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick also attended court yesterday to hear how one of her own officers had abused his position and used his warrant card to kidnap Ms Everard “by fraud” before detaining her “by force”.

      Prosecutor Tom Little QC suggested the case was so exceptional and unprecedented that it could warrant a whole life order, meaning Couzens would die in jail.

      Opening the facts of the case, he said Ms Everard’s disappearance was one of the most widely publicised missing person investigations the country has ever seen.

      After her body was discovered a week later, it became summarised on social media by the hashtag “she was just walking home”, which did not completely describe what had happened, he said.

    • Louis Allwood

      Police background

      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.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Scotland Yard ‘sickened’ by Couzens’ crimes

      Scotland Yard yesterday said in a statement ahead of the sentencing hearing: “We are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes which betray everything we stand for.

      “Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and her many friends. It is not possible for us to imagine what they are going through.

      “We recognise his actions raise many questions and concerns but we will not be commenting further until the hearing is complete.”

    • Louis Allwood

      Investigations under way still not in place

      MEASURES promised after the murder of Sarah Everard to try to stop further ­violence against women have yet to be implemented — six months on.

      Boris Johnson pledged “immediate steps” would be taken after Sarah, 33, was killed by an off-duty cop after being kidnapped while walking in South London in March.

      Under Project Vigilant, bars and streets where sexual offences were reported were to be flooded with plain-clothes officers.

      Yet the scheme — pioneered by Thames Valley Police — has yet to be rolled out in London or most of rest of the UK despite 77 murders of women since Sarah died.

      Dorset and Wiltshire police are among those so far to adopt the policy.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Couzens visited Costa after sickening murder

      Wayne Couzens treated himself to a hot chocolate with coconut milk and bakewell tart from Costa just hours after murdering Sarah.

      The next morning, Couzens returned the rental car and chucked her phone into a river in Sandwich, Kent.

      He also bought petrol which he used to burn Sarah’s body before calling his vet to make an appointment for the family dog about “possible medication for separation anxiety”.

    • Louis Allwood

      ‘Bright and beautiful’

      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.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      What we know so far

      • A couple saw Sarah Everard being kidnapped by Wayne Couzens and assumed it was ‘undercover arrest’
      • Sarah Everard’s brave mum ‘haunted by the horror’ of daughter’s final hours as dad tells killer to face them in court
      • Wayne Couzens handcuffed & ‘arrested’ Sarah Everard in ‘fake Covid patrol’ to kidnap her off street before murder
      • Killer cop Wayne Couzens used his police belt to strangle Sarah Everard after luring her off street in fake arrest
      • Wayne Couzens took family on ‘day out’ to woods after burning Sarah Everard’s body and let kids play near her remains
      • Shocking CCTV shows moment Wayne Couzens lured Sarah Everard off street in staged fake Covid stop

      Pure grief

      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.

      Couzens being sentenced for kidnap, rape & murder

      Harrowing details of Sarah’s murder were revealed for the first time yesterday as the Met Police officer is sentenced for kidnap, rape and murder.

      The Old Bailey heard how Couzens used his warrant card to lure Sarah into his car as she walked home by claiming he was on a Covid patrol.

      Just five minutes later, terrified Sarah was driven for 80 miles from London to Kent at the start of a “lengthy ordeal” that was to lead “inexorably to her rape and murder”.

      • Louis Allwood

        Police missed three key clues about monster cop Wayne Couzens that could have seen him booted from the Met before he killed Sarah Everard.

        He became the talk of his nick for only stopping female motorists — and would take their personal details so he could watch their homes, returning to one at least three times, it is claimed.

        Vile Couzens, 48, also parked his patrol car by schools so he could leer at mums and sixth formers.

        A source told The Sun on Sunday: “It is frightening when you think about what happened to poor Sarah. If someone had been doing their job properly three years ago then none of this would have happened.”

      • Joseph Gamp

        Couzens ‘attracted to brutal porn’, court hears

        The police officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard was “attracted to brutal sexual pornography”, a court has heard.

        Wayne Couzens, 48, wore his police belt with handcuffs and a rectangular black pouch, similar to a pepper spray holder, attached to it when he snatched the 33-year-old marketing executive on March 3.

        Two people had earlier seen him wearing the kit and when asked about the equipment in a computer hardware shop, he joked he was into “kinky stuff”, before telling the owner: “I am an undercover police officer.”

        In late January this year, Couzens worked with other officers on uniformed Covid patrols, enforcing coronavirus lockdown regulations.

        “He was therefore aware of the regulations and what language to use to those who may have breached them,” prosecutor Tom Little QC told Couzens’s sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

      • Louis Allwood

        Ghastly plot

        In the days leading up to the murder, Couzens hatched a ghastly plot to travel to London and abduct a woman.

        On February 28 he rented the car used to snatch Sarah using his name, address and two different mobile phones.

        Minutes later, he bought a 600mm by 100mm roll of self-adhesive film from Amazon to use in the attack.

        On the night he took Sarah, the cop was seen on CCTV buying hairbands he used in the horror.

        As part of his grim killing kit, the monster also purchased carpet protector, tarpaulin, and a cargo net on March 7.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Mapped: Sarah’s final walk

        Wayne Couzens had prowled the streets for a victim before he spotted Sarah walking back from a friend’s house in Clapham.

        After stalking the marketing executive, Couzens got out of his rental car and was spotted on CCTV just a few feet from her.

        The rapist cop, who was wearing his police belt containing handcuffs, can be seen producing his warrant card after claiming Sarah had breached Covid restrictions.

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