In a sick and twisted story, a former London police officer, Wayne Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty to brutalizing and killing 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard in March of this year. The killing took place in a street in the British capital.
According to court records and Couzens’ admission, he approached Everard walking alone and presented his police officer ID. At the time of her senseless death, COVID-19 restriction was in place, and that’s when court documents say Couzens took advantage of the opportunity.
Originally, Couzens came up with an outlandish claim that Romanian gang members forced him to kidnap Everard. Couzens, who was married at the time and the father of two, told detectives that the gang said they would cause bodily harm to his family if he didn’t “pick up girls and give them to them.”
The more details he gave, the more his story became convoluted. At one point during the interview, sources say Couzens went into further specifics about a gang member who followed behind his car.
And once that person spotted Everard, Couzens said he got the green light to carry out the act.
“Three guys got out [a car], opened my door, opened that door and pushed me out against the front of the car, took the girl, drove off, that’s it.”
Couzens told detectives after they raided his home on March 9th. “So, I’m here, I’m off work with stress because I’m here to protect my family. I want to be here 24/7 for my family. They come for my family. I’ve got nothing. I’ve got no choice.”
However, Couzens admitted to raping, killing, and burning Everard’s body before dumping it into a nearby pond.
On Thursday, Judge Lord Justice Fulford sentenced Couzens to life in prison. During the sentencing phase, Everard’s mother Susan read a statement, “I go through the terrible sequence of events,” Sarah’s mother said. “I wonder when she realized she was in mortal danger.”
Rebecca Hitchen, head of policy and campaigns at U.K.’s End Violence Against Women Coalition, told a news site, “We are nowhere near ending violence against women and girls.” She added, “All we want is for our organization not to have to exist anymore, but we are so far away from that being a reality.”
Sources say at the time of Everard’s murder, there were 109 women murdered in the U.K. this year.
According to reports, Couzens joined London’s Metropolitan Police in 2018 and served in an armed unit responsible for guarding embassies in the capital and Parliament.