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29th Sep 2021

Ex police officer ‘used police ID’ to kidnap Sarah Everard, court hears

*This article contains details of sexual assault and rape.

The former Met Police officer is being sentenced for kidnapping, raping, and murdering Everard.

Wayne Couzens handcuffed and arrested Sarah Everard on a fake Covid patrol before he murdered her, a court heard on Wednesday.

Couzens, an armed protection officer, kidnapped Everard off the street as she walked home in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3 of this year.

The 48-year-old, who has since been dismissed from the force, then drove Everard to Kent where he murdered the 33-year-old marketing executive. He was arrested on March 9 and admitted charges of kidnap, rape and murder in July.

Opening a two-day sentencing hearing at London’s Old Bailey, Tom Little QC said Couzens, who was a serving Met police officer at the time, got Everard into a car he had hired “by handcuffing her as well as showing her his warrant card”.

The court heard that a couple travelling in a car saw Everard being kidnapped, with the female passenger watching as Everard was handcuffed, believing she was witnessing an undercover arrest.

Little said Everard was “compliant, with her head down and did not appear to be arguing”.

“That was the start of her lengthy ordeal including an 80 mile journey whilst detained which was to lead first to her rape and then her murder,” he said.

Speaking ahead of the sentencing, the Met issued a statement saying it was “sickened, angered and devastated” by Couzens’ crimes which “betray everything we stand for”.

“Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and her many friends. It is not possible for us to imagine what they are going through.

“We recognise his actions raise many questions and concerns but we will not be commenting further until the hearing is complete.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating whether the Met ailed to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure relating to Couzens in February, just days before the killing.

Kent Police are also being investigated over their response to a third allegation of indecent exposure in 2015.

Couzens is set to be sentenced soon.