A judge on Sept. 30 handed down a whole-life prison sentence to former Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens in London for the kidnapping, rape, and a murder of Sarah Everard.
Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey for the two-day sentencing hearing where the court heard new details of the kidnapping and murder.
Prosecutors told the court that Couzens, 48, used his Metropolitan Police-issued warrant card and handcuffs and the pretext of COVID-19 restrictions to abduct Everard, 33, under the guise of an arrest when she was walking home on the night of March 3.
Couzens then drove to a secluded rural area where he raped Everard and murdered her using his police-issued belt. He burned her body in an area he owned in Hoad’s Wood and dumped her remains in a nearby pond, according to prosecutors.
Lord Justice Fulford said during the sentencing that the circumstances of the case were “grotesque,” sentencing Couzens to life in prison due to the “exceptionally high” seriousness of the case and for showing no evidence of “genuine contrition.”
“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,” Fulford told the court.
The case reignited concerns on women’s safety and placing their trust in law enforcement, sparking nationwide protests against male violence and police brutality.
Senior Labor Member of Parliament Harriet Harman called on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to resign, saying in a letter that “women need to be confident that the police are there to make them safe, not to put them at risk.”
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