Justice for Sarah Everard († 33)!
The verdict is there – and it is as harsh as possible: The London police officer Wayne Couzens (48) was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for the murder of Sarah Everard.
▶ ︎ In Great Britain that means: The killer will die in prison.
The Old Bailey Criminal Court sentenced Couzens to the maximum sentence: life imprisonment with no prospect of early release. The man confessed to kidnapping Everard in south London on March 3, then raping and finally killing him. The verdict is not yet legally binding. The case had sparked a nationwide outcry over violence against women.
Shocking details had previously become known during the trial. Incredible: According to the public prosecutor’s office, the killer policeman had staged an arrest to rape and kill the Londoner.
In March, Couzens pretended to be controlling Everard for a violation of the Corona rules at the time, prosecutor Tom Little said on Wednesday. He’d checked Everard while she was walking home from a friend.
Her cremated body was only discovered days later in a grove in the southeastern county of Kent – very close to a property that belonged to the married family man. Around the same time, it became known that a member of the London police force was an urgent suspect.
The fact that Everard was on her way back from dinner during the relatively strict corona lockdown increased the likelihood that she saw a violation of corona restrictions, the prosecutor said.
Because he had previously participated in corona patrols, the police officer knew how to address suspected rule breakers.
In March England was not allowed to visit one another at home. The killer policeman had handcuffed Everard and then drove to Kent in a rental car. There he raped the young woman and strangled her with his belt.
The prosecution in court had meticulously traced how the police officer allegedly prepared for the crime and how he tried to cover his tracks over the following days. How the 48-year-old got gasoline to burn the corpse, bought garbage bags to dispose of Everard’s cell phone, drove to the crime scene again and again – and spent time with his family a few days later in the immediate vicinity: everything supported by camera Recordings and cell monitoring. It became clear that Sarah Everard was a random victim.
The policeman tried a cheap excuse
Prosecutor Little reported that 1,800 hours of images had been evaluated. The investigators also tracked down the policeman through surveillance images – a bus camera recorded the moment he stopped Everard. The suspect car was a rental car for which the defendant used his name and contact details.
The policeman quickly admitted that he had kidnapped the young woman. But he only did this because he was forced by a gang of Eastern European criminals, he said. He owed them to them, they threatened his family. The excuse soon broke down.
The verdict is the legal culmination of a case that has kept the country in suspense. The murder of Sarah Everard caused anger and horror nationwide, and a new debate about violence against women began.
Duchess Kate (39) publicly laid flowers. The hashtag “shewasjustwalkinghome” – she just went home – has become the catchphrase for numerous reports of harassment and sexual assault.
The London police chief Cressida Dick (60) came under pressure because her emergency services forcibly dissolved a vigil of hundreds of women for Everard with reference to Corona rules.
London Mayor calls women murders an “epidemic”
But not much has changed. Another murder of a young woman in London is currently causing horror across the country: Sabina Nessa (28) disappeared on the short way from her apartment to a pub, her body was found the next day, a 36-year-old is now charged.
Dozens of women have been allegedly killed by men in Britain since the murder of Sarah Everard. London Mayor Sadiq Khan (50) spoke of an “epidemic”.