30 September (WNN) — Wayne Kuzens, a former London police officer who lured a 33-year-old woman into his vehicle, raped and murdered her, was sentenced to prison on Thursday.
Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty to the crime in July and admitted to killing Sarah Everard during a shootout on March 3.
Sentencing on Thursday, Judge Adrian Fulford condemned Cousins for shattering the community’s sense of security and abusing his authority to hunt down Everard and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is in south London. I was walking home when he encountered her.
“You have caused irreparable damage to the lives of Sarah Everard’s family and friends,” Fulford said in a lengthy statement. “You have eroded the belief that the public is entitled to in the police forces of England and Wales.
“It is vital that every subject in this country can rely on police officers when they face them and present their authority, which they are entitled to believe is being exercised in good faith.”
Wreaths are laid in memory of Sarah Everard on 16 March in London, UK. File photo by Andy Ren/EPA-EFE
During the presenting hearing on Wednesday, the court heard more details about Everard’s death. Prosecutors said Couzens used his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card to persuade Everard that he violated a COVID-19 ban.
Once she was inside her vehicle, Everard was handcuffed, sexually assaulted and strangled with a police belt from Cousins. He then set her body on fire.
“You have greatly increased the sense of insecurity that many people are living in our cities, perhaps especially women, when traveling by themselves and especially at night,” Fulford said.
“During the period before your arrest, there was never a moment when you might have shown the slightest hint of regret after realizing the enormity of the horrific crimes you had committed.”
Everard’s death has raised concerns for women’s safety across Britain and has led to calls by some groups for police reform and other increased protections for women.