A British policeman gets life without a chance of early release for Sarah Everard‘s murder. The murder led to a shock in British society.
33-year-old Everard walked home to London one night in March when she was stopped by 48-year-old Wayne Couzens. He showed her his police badge and told her that she violated lockdown rules. Passers-by saw how the man dressed in black put her handcuffs on.
Couzens forced Everard into a rental car and drove for two hours towards his hometown in Kent, southeast of the capital. In a forest there, he raped her and strangled her with his belt. Her body was found a week later, Couzens had already been arrested. He confessed to the July murder.
The judge today called the case “terrible, dramatic and unprecedented cruel”. He found the abuse of Couzens police role similar to a terrorist attack. In addition, the judge said he did not see a genuine sense of regret in him.
The perpetrator heard the verdict silently, but trembling.
London police fired Couzens a few months ago. “We’re disgusted, we‘re angry, we’re devastated,” a spokesman said a day before the verdict. “This man has betrayed everything we stand for.”
In Britain and elsewhere, many women recognized the story of Everard. The British outrage grew even more when the police broke up heavy-handed support meetings because they did not comply with the corona measures.
Footage of an initial interrogation after his arrest has been released by the Metropolitan Police, including surveillance camera footage. In that video, Couzens tells a theory that he would have been pressured to kidnap someone.