By Laura Kemp • 30 September 2021 • 15:59
Today, September 30, Sarah Everard’s murderer and ex-Met Police officer Wayne Couzens has been sentenced at the Old Bailey to life in prison and will die behind bars.
Couzens had grovelled to a judge not to give him a whole life sentence, claiming he had spared Sarah’s family for pleading guilty and avoiding a drawn-out trial.
During the hearing, the jury heard how Couzens had used his authority as a police officer and the Covid restrictions that were in place, pretending to arrest Ms Everard to lure her into his car. He then raped and strangled her with a belt.
He then went on to burn her body in a fridge that had been fly-tipped in an area of woodland he owned in Hoads Woods near Ashford in Kent. He then dumped the remains in a nearby pond.
Lord Justice Fulford handed Couzens the sentence after his lawyer tried to argue that he should be spared the whole life sentence for showing “genuine remorse.”
Defence barrister Jim Sturman QC said Couzens deserved severe punishment for his “horrific crimes”, however, he argued there was not much evidence to suggest a premeditated plan to murder.
He also asked for his guilty plea to be taken into consideration, arguing for a minimum 30-year sentence instead.
Lord Fulford said: “First and foremost, Sarah Everard was a wholly blameless victim of a grotesquely executed series of circumstances that culminated in her death and the disposal of her body.
“She was simply walking home.”
“I have not the slightest doubt that the defendant used his position as a police officer to coerce Sarah Everard into his car.”
Mr Fulford said he did not take into account Couzens’ guilty pleas or “his hitherto good character, and the fact that he is a father of two children.”
He did acknowledge that Couzens has spent at least a month going to London to do research on how to commit his crimes.”
He said: “The degree of preparation… is to be stressed.”
“Couzens covered extensive distances in the capital, beyond doubt hunting a lone female to kidnap and rape. It follows that the defendant had planned well in advance, in all its unspeakably grim detail, what was to occur.”
“Sarah Everard’s state of mind, and what she had to endure would have been as bleak and agonising as it is possible to imagine. Ultimately, she was raped and strangled to death.”
He added: “He ran an entirely false account in which he pretended he’d been acting under coercion from a gang. With apparent sincerity, he gave police officers a wholly false story in which he claimed he was the victim of threats which made him concerned for his own safety.”
He said Couzens carried out “warped, selfish and brutal offending that was both sexual and homicidal.”
“Notwithstanding his guilty pleas, in my view, the defendant throughout sought to minimise his true responsibility for what occurred. At no stage has he offered any kind of full explanation as to what occurred in the fateful few hours.”
“I have concluded that in the planning and thought that went into the kidnap and rape the defendant must have realised he may well need to kill the woman he intended to kidnap and rape.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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