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Court of Appeal rules Sarah Everard's murderer Wayne Couzens of Deal will stay in prison for rest of his life

Killer police officer Wayne Couzens will stay behind bars for the rest of his life after he lost an appeal.

The former Met armer diplomatic protection officer was handed a whole-life term last year for the rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard after he abducted her in south London on March 3, 2021.

Wayne Couzens: appealing his sentence
Wayne Couzens: appealing his sentence

It was the first time the sentence had been imposed for a single murder of an adult not committed in the course of a terror attack – and his lawyer previously told the Court of Appeal the term was 'excessive'.

The barrister said Couzens deserved “decades in jail” but not no prospect of ever being released.

Couzens, as a serving police officer, kidnapped Ms Everard, 33, in Clapham, South London, on March 3 last year.

He took her to the outskirts of Dover and raped and killed her and her burnt remains were found near Great Chart, Ashford.

At a previous hearing a bearded Couzens, wearing a grey jumper, appeared by video-link from HMP Frankland.

Couzens, now 49, formerly of Freemen's Way, Deal, was sentenced last September 30.

Sarah Everard: murdered last year
Sarah Everard: murdered last year

The judge that day, Lord Justice Fulford said the circumstances of the case were “devastating, tragic and wholly brutal” and were so exceptional that it warranted a whole-life order.

Members of Ms Everard’s family were present in the Royal Courts of Justice as his appeal was discussed.

Jim Sturman QC, for Couzens, said: “Mr Couzens accepts that his crimes are abhorrent and nothing I say in any way is intended to minimise them or to minimise the impact of these crimes on Sarah Everard’s family and huge circle of friends.”

He told the court that it was accepted that Couzens deserved “decades in jail” but argued a whole-life term was excessive.

Mr Sturman added: “The combination of his remorse and his guilty pleas… should balance out that aggravating factor which clearly exists, of him being a police officer, albeit off-duty in half uniform.”

KMTV speaks on the courts reviewing the sentence of former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens

This hearing was before the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Dame Victoria Sharp, Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Johnson.

In a summary read out in court this morning Lord Burnett said the sentencing judge was entitled to impose a whole-life order due to the facts of Couzens’ case.

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