Killer of London woman Everard sentenced to life in prison
The family of Sarah Everard, who was killed as she walked home in March, said they were "very pleased" that the British police officer convicted of her murder would spend the rest of his life in prison.
"We are very pleased that Wayne Couzens has received a full life sentence and will spend the rest of his life in jail," they said in a statement on Thursday.
"Couzens held a position of trust as a police officer and we are outraged and sickened that he abused this trust in order to lure Sarah to her death. The world is a safer place with him imprisoned."
Everard's disappearance sparked one of Britain's most high-profile missing persons investigations and protests calling for better safety for women in public spaces.
Mum will often #WhatsApp to ask if I got home ok. Usually get irritated and respond something along lines “I’m not a child”. But today won’t get annoyed, won’t reply sarcastically .. but instead will write straight bk “yes. Love you”. #SarahEverard— Sima Kotecha (@sima_kotecha) September 29, 2021
A British police officer, Wayne Couzens, falsely arrested Everard for breaking coronavirus restrictions, then kidnapped, raped and murdered her in March 2021.
There has been widespread horror and revulsion at the involvement of a police officer, who exploited lockdown restrictions and abused his position of trust to kill.
Sentencing him at the Old Bailey, in central London, Judge Adrian Fulford called Couzens' actions "devastating, tragic and wholly brutal" and said his victim was "wholly blameless".
"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 ideological cause," he added.
Couzens, who will die in jail, becomes the latest of only 60 criminals who will never be considered for release.
Former colleagues said he had disgraced their uniform, and the Met Police said it was "sickened, angered and devastated" by his crimes.