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Sarah Everard murder: Former Metropolitan Police officer to be sentenced today

Wayne Couzens will face a life sentence today after kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard.

The Metropolitan Police officer turned killer planned the abduction in March, where he stalked London’s streets before snatching the 33-year-old.

Sarah Everard (51740642)
Sarah Everard (51740642)

Couzens, 48, used police knowledge and equipment to snare Miss Everard, claiming she breached Covid lockdown rules, and then fraudulently arrested her, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Today, he will be handed a life sentence after admitting kidnapping, raping and killing Miss Everard at two Old Bailey appearances in June and July.

He was sacked from his diplomatic protection role soon after.

Couzens snatched Sarah from the street as she walked in south London in early March.

Her body was discovered a week later more than 80 miles away in Great Chart, near Ashford. A post-mortem report revealed she had been strangled.

Killer Couzens would even take his wife and children to the woodland, where they would play close to where he hid her body. He returned the following day to burn her and dump her in a pond.

The day ended with powerful and heartbreaking tributes from her family, who demanded Couzens looked at them as they spoke.

Today, in mitigation Jim Sterman QC urged the judge not to pass a full-life custodial term. He argued Couzens entered early guilty pleas, displayed genuine remorse and suffered mild depression at the time of the attack.

Even if the judge didn’t hand Couzens a full life tariff, he still wouldn’t be released until age 81, he argued.

“The defendant was invited yesterday to look at the Everards, he couldn’t I’m told, he is ashamed, what he has done is terrible, he deserves a very lengthy finite term but he did all he could after he was arrested to minimise the wicked harm that he did.

“And that is, in our respectable submission, reason for you to draw back from what the prosecution invites you to do.”

Wayne Couzens, 48. Picture: Facebook
Wayne Couzens, 48. Picture: Facebook

But prosecutors argue Couzens should be locked up for the rest of his life after meticulously hatching his grim plan and abusing his position of authority.

The murderer is expected to be handed a whole life order this morning, the most severe punishment available.

There are currently 60 criminals in the UK serving life orders according to government figures to the end of June.

Read more: Protestors release smoke guns outside the Old Bailey ahead of sentencing

Read more: An insight into the life of murderer Wayne Couzens

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