British policeman jailed for life for murder and rape of Sarah Everard
On Thursday, a police officer was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping marketing professional Sarah Everard as she walked home on a London street, then raping and killing her in a case that horrified Britain and sparked rallies against violence against women.
The Old Bailey heard that Wayne Couzens, 48, a serving London officer who had secured diplomatic buildings, had exploited his position to stop Everard.
Couzens pushed Everard, 33, into a rented car as she walked home from a friend’s house in south London on March 3. Her corpse was discovered in forest some 50 miles (80 kilometers) distant in southeast England. A post-mortem examination revealed that she died as a consequence of neck compression.
He has no prospect of parole because he is serving a life sentence.
“Nothing can make things better, nothing can bring Sarah back,” Everard’s family stated in a statement.
“As a police officer, Wayne Couzens had a position of trust, and we are horrified and appalled that he exploited that trust in order to lead Sarah to her death.”
The murder sparked public protests and outpourings of rage from women who described their own experiences and anxieties of being out late at night.
“I have no doubt that the defendant exploited his position as a police officer to force her into the automobile he had rented for this reason,” Fulford said during his sentencing remarks.
THE POLICE’S ‘SHAME’
The Metropolitan Police Force, which investigated the murder and for whom Couzens worked, described his actions as “sickened, angry, and heartbroken.” Everard’s family has been apologized to by Commissioner Cressida Dick.
“Our police officers are there to protect us – and I know that officers will share our astonishment and grief at the utter betrayal of this responsibility,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated.
The police watchdog in the United Kingdom is investigating police failures to investigate an indecent exposure incident related to Couzens in 2015, as well as two more similar accusations in February of this year.
Harriet Harman, a member of the opposition, has called on Dick to quit.
“Sarah Everard was merely on her way home. Women must be able to trust police officers rather than fear them. Women’s trust in the police will have been broken “Harman stated on Twitter.
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