Wayne Couzens ‘used police ID to kidnap Sarah Everard’
The former Met Police officer is being sentenced for kidnapping, raping, and murdering Everard
Wayne Couzens handcuffed and arrested Sarah Everard on a fake Covid patrol before he raped and murdered her, a court heard on Wednesday.
Couzens, an armed protection officer, snatched Everard off the street as she walked home in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3 in an attack that ignited protests around violence against women.
The 48-year-old, who has since been dismissed from the force, then drove Everard to Kent where he raped and murdered the 33-year-old marketing executive, before burning her body in an attempt to hide his crimes. He was arrested on March 9 and admitted charges of kidnap, rape and murder in July.
Opening a two-day sentencing hearing at London's Old Bailey, Tom Little QC said Couzens, who was a serving Met police officer at the time, got Everard into a car he had hired “by handcuffing her as well as showing her his warrant card”.
Little said: “He was to burn Sarah Everard’s body after he murdered her. He then moved her body in green bags that he had purchased specifically for that task.”
The court heard that a couple travelling in a car saw Everard being kidnapped, with the female passenger watching as Everard was handcuffed, believing she was witnessing an undercover arrest.
Little said Everard was "compliant, with her head down and did not appear to be arguing".
"That was the start of her lengthy ordeal including an 80 mile journey whilst detained which was to lead first to her rape and then her murder," he said.
Couzens spoke only to confirm his identity at his sentencing, then sat head bowed, eyes closed, as the prosecutor outlined the case against him.
Speaking ahead of the sentencing, the Met issued a statement saying it was "sickened, angered and devastated" by Couzens 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."
The Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating whether the Met ailed to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure relating to Couzens in February, just days before the killing.
Kent Police are also being investigated over their response to a third allegation of indecent exposure in 2015.