Sarah Everard's Killer Will Die In Prison As He Loses Bid To Cut Time
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Featured Image Credit: Met Police/MI News & Sport/Alamy Stock Photo
The man who killed Sarah Everard will die behind bars after losing his bid to shorten his jail sentence today.
Last year, Wayne Couzens, 48, was sentenced to a whole-life order after pleading guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah, 33.
The ex-police officer had made an appeal against his life sentence as part of a major review of which murder cases should result in a whole-life term.
Couzens' lawyers claimed that he deserved 'decades in jail', but not a full life sentence.
However, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett stated on Friday, 29 July that Couzens' crime was so exceptional that his life sentence should stand.
Speaking of Couzens' 'unspeakably grim' crime, Lord Burnett stated: "This was, as the [sentencing] judge said, warped, selfish and brutal offending, which was both sexual and homicidal.
"It was a case with unique and extreme aggravating factors.
"Chief amongst those, as the judge correctly identified, was the grotesque misuse of Couzens of his position as a police officer with all that connoted to facilitate Ms Everard's kidnap, rape and murder."
The rejection of Couzens' appeal means that he will die behind bars.
Sarah Everard had been walking home from a friend's house in south London when she was abducted and murdered by the Metropolitan Police officer.
In September 2021, the court heard how Couzens had handcuffed and falsely arrested Sarah as she made her way home - possibly under the premise of breaching lockdown restrictions - and lured her inside his rented car.
The marketing executive's body was discovered in woodland a week later.
Couzens initially denied any involvement, claiming he had been threatened by an 'eastern European gang', but was formally charged with Sarah’s murder on 12 March 2021.
He pleaded guilty to murder, having previously pleaded guilty to kidnap and rape on 9 July 2021.
Couzens is the first police officer to ever be sentenced to a whole-life term.
He was formally fired from the Metropolitan Police after his guilty plea.
In March of this year - one year on from her murder - Sarah's family released a heartbreaking statement to say that they remember her 'today, as every day, with all our love'.
It continued: "Our lives have changed forever and we live with the sadness of our loss. Sarah was wonderful and we miss her all the time.
“Over the past year we have been overwhelmed with the kindness shown to us, not just by family and friends, but by the wider public.
“We are immensely grateful to everyone for their support, it has meant such a lot to us and has comforted us through this terrible time.
“Sadly, Sarah is not the only woman to have lost her life recently in violent circumstances and we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to other families who are also grieving.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677