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Met Police respond to Wayne Couzens guilty plea in Sarah Everard murder

Dame Cressida Dick claimed the Met Police are sickened as Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard today.

The 48-year-old diplomatic protection officer previously pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Everard on the 8th June after being arrested on the 9 March at his home address in Deal, Kent. 

Everard, a 33-year-old marking executive was abducted on 3 March while walking home from a friend’s flat on Leathwaite Road in Clapham.

Her boyfriend reported her missing the next day. 

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said: “All of us in the Met are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s truly dreadful crimes.

“Everyone in policing feels betrayed.

“I was able to speak to Sarah’s family earlier today and said to them how very sorry I am for their loss and their pain and their suffering.

“Sarah was a fantastic, talented young women with her whole life ahead of her and that has been snatched away.”

Wayne Couzens joined the Met Police in September 2018 (Image: Met Police)

The Met Police confirmed that Couzens stopped being paid as a police officer immediately following his guilty pleas, which was as soon as legally possible.

Couzens, who transferred to the Met in September 2018 had been working as a diplomatic protection officer since February 2020, where his primary role was to patrol diplomatic premises.

He was not on duty at the time of Everard’s disappearance.

A few days after the kidnapping, Couzens reported that he was suffering from stress and did not want to carry a firearm any more, according to a case summary.

Sarah Everard’s body was later found inside a large builder’s bag on 10 March in a woodland area in Ashford, Kent. 

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced that 12 police officers are being investigated over matters relating to the case of Everard’s death and Couzens.

Couzens was not subject to any misconduct proceedings during his time at the Met Police.

However, the IOPC confirmed that an investigation is being held into alleged Met Police failures to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure linked to Couzens in London in February 2021.

Sarah Everard (Image: Met Police)
Sarah Everard disappeared on 3 March (Image: Met Police)

An investigation is also being held into a separate indecent exposure incident linked to Couzens in Kent in 2015, and alleged Kent Police failures to investigate it.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said in a statement: “Our sympathies remain with the family of Sarah Everard and everyone affected by her death in such shocking circumstances.

“We share the horror that many will feel, knowing that Sarah’s killer was a police officer who had taken an oath to uphold the law and protect life and property.

“The offences Wayne Couzens has admitted add up to the worst betrayal of the public’s trust.”

Couzens was remanded into custody this morning.

He will next appear at the Old Bailey for a two-day sentencing on 29 September.

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