Mapesbury councillor welcomes Sarah Everard's killer's sentence

Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard - Credit: Met Police

A Mapesbury councillor has said that the whole life sentence given to Sarah Everard's killer "should be a lesson for other criminals".

Met officer Wayne Couzens, 48, will die behind bars after using his warrant card and handcuffs to snatch the 33-year-old marketing executive off the street using Covid lockdown rules to make a false arrest.

Killer cop Wayne Couzens

Killer cop Wayne Couzens - Credit: Met

Cllr Ahmad Shahzad OBE, member of Brent's community and wellbeing scrutiny committee, said: "I am so pleased to learn that Sarah’s murderer got full life sentence.

"He got what he deserved, it should be a lesson for other criminals that you will be caught and punished accordingly if you commit a crime against women."

Miss Everard was kidnapped as she walked from dinner at a friend's home near Clapham Common, in south London, on March 3. 

The Metropolitan Police firearms officer, who had clocked off from a 12-hour shift at the US embassy that morning, drove her 80 miles before raping her, strangling her to death with his police belt and burning her body.

The court heard he burned her body in a refrigerator in an area of woodland he owned in Hoads Wood, near Ashford, before dumping the remains in a nearby pond.

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The married officer was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, after police connected him to a hire car he used to abduct Ms Everard, whose remains were found by police dogs on March 10.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey on Thursday (September 30), Lord Justice Fulford said the seriousness of the case was so “exceptionally high” that it warranted a whole life order.

He described Ms Everard as “a wholly blameless victim of a grotesquely executed series of offences that culminated in her death and the disposal of her body”.

Sarah Everard, 33, whose body was found in Kent Woodland on March 10.

Sarah Everard, 33, whose body was found in Kent Woodland on March 10. - Credit: PA

“I have not the slightest doubt that the defendant used his position as a police officer to coerce her on a wholly false pretext into the car he had hired for this purpose."

He added: “The misuse of a police officer’s role such as occurred in this case in order to kidnap, rape and murder a lone victim is of equal seriousness as a murder for the purpose of advancing a political, religious ideological cause,” he added.

“You have eroded the confidence that the public are entitled to have in the police forces of England and Wales."

A spokesperson for the Met said: "We are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes which betray everything we stand for."

Additional reporting from PA