sarah: British policeman jailed for life for murder and rape of Sarah Everard


LONDON: A police officer was jailed for life Thursday for kidnapping a marketing executive Sarah Everard on a London street as he walked home, then raped and murdered her in a case that shocked Britain and sparked protests over violence against women.
Wayne couzens (48) A London officer on duty who had guarded diplomatic facilities, had used his position to arrest Everard, the Old Bailey court heard.
Couzens forced Everard (33) in a rental car while walking home after visiting a friend in South London on March 3. His body was found in a forest about 50 miles (80 km) away in south-east England. An autopsy concluded that he had died as a result of neck compression.
His life sentence means he has no possibility of parole.
“Nothing can make things better, nothing can bring Sarah Back, but knowing that he will be incarcerated forever brings some relief, “Everard’s family said in a statement.
“Wayne Couzens held a position of trust as a police officer and we are outraged and disgusted that he abused this trust to lure Sarah to her death.”
The murder sparked public demonstrations and expressions of anger from the women who have recounted their own experiences and fears of being alone at night.
A witness saw Everard being handcuffed prior to her abduction and police investigating the case said she may have used COVID-19 protocols as an excuse to falsely arrest her.
Judge Adrian Fulford said Couzens had long planned a violent sexual assault on a victim yet to select whom he intended to coerce into custody.
“I have no doubt that the defendant used his position as a police officer to force her on a totally false pretext to get into the car he had rented for this purpose,” Fulford said in sentencing statements.
The Metropolitan Police, which investigated the murder and for whom Couzens worked, said she was “sick, angry and devastated” by her crimes. Commissioner Cressida Cock he has apologized to Everard’s family.
“Our police are there to protect us, and I know officers will share our shock and devastation at the total betrayal of this duty,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britain’s police watchdog is investigating police failures to investigate an indecent exposure incident related to Couzens in 2015, and two other such allegations in February this year.
Opposition lawmaker Harriet Harman asked Dick to resign.
“Sarah Everard was just walking home. Women should be able to trust the police and not fear them. Women’s trust in the police will have been shattered,” Harman said on Twitter.
In an out-of-court statement, Dick did not address questions about his own position.
“His actions were a gross betrayal of everything the police stand for. What he did was unthinkable and shocking … this man has embarrassed the Met (police),” he said, describing it as “one of the scariest events in the 190-year history of the Metropolitan Police Service “.
“There are no words that can fully express the anger and overwhelming sadness we all feel at what happened to Sarah. I am so sorry.”

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