A Cop Falsely Arrested and Handcuffed Sarah Everard Before Killing Her

The Old Bailey heard how Wayne Couzens used his police ID and handcuffs to kidnap the 33-year-old Londoner, before raping and murdering her.
September 29, 2021, 11:34am
A Cop Falsely Arrested and Handcuffed Sarah Everard Before Killing Her
A photo of Sarah Everard among tributes to her left at the bandstand on Clapham Common, south London, in March this year. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

A serving London police officer used his police ID and handcuffs to falsely arrest Sarah Everard before raping and murdering her, a court has heard. 

At the start of a two-day sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, prosecutor Tim Little said Wayne Couzens forced Everard, 33, into his hire car by “false arrest” and by “handcuffing her and showing his warrant card”.

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Couzens, 48, had worked on COVID patrols and would have been familiar with what language to use to people who may have been in breach of coronavirus-related restrictions, the court heard.

After kidnapping her, Couzens drove Everard 80 miles outside of London, Little said. "At some point fairly soon after driving onto the South Circular and having not gone to a police station, Sarah Everard must have realised her fate," he continued.

Everard went missing in March while walking home from a friend’s house in south London. A week later, her remains were discovered in woodland in Kent, with a postmortem revealing she died as a result of compression to the neck.

“Whilst it is impossible to summarise what the defendant did to Sarah Everard in just five words, if it had to be done then it would be more appropriate to do so as deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation, fire,” Little told the Old Bailey. 

Couzens, who worked as a diplomatic protection officer for the Metropolitan Police, pleaded guilty to rape and murder earlier this year.

“We are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes which betray everything we stand for,” the Metropolitan Police said on Wednesday.

“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.”