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Sarah Everard killer sentenced to life

CW: kidnap, murder, SA

The police officer arrested for the murder and kidnap of Sarah Everard in March of this year has been sentenced to life in prison at the Old Bailey today. Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to the attack in July, and further disturbing details about the incident have been released during the court sessions over the last two days.

Sarah’s family appeared in court to express their anguish over her killing, with her mother writing in an impact statement that Couzens ‘took her life and stole her future’. Today, the family said that “Nothing can make things better, nothing can bring Sarah back, but knowing he will be imprisoned forever brings some relief”. They described Sarah as “a beautiful young woman in looks and character” and said that their “lives are the poorer without her.”

It has been revealed that Couzens used his police warrant card to falsely arrest Sarah Everard, citing lockdown restriction laws to do so, and placed her in the back of his car while handcuffed. Following this, he went on to attack and eventually kill her. This misuse of his police powers was one of the main factors which contributed to him being given a whole-life order. These sentences are usually restricted, however the judge stated that this is justified in this case due to the traumatic nature of Sarah’s death.

Head of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick and Home Secretary Priti Patel have issued apologies for Couzens’ conduct, however have failed to address criticism about the institutional failings within the police service which resulted in Couzens failing to be held accountable.

With another man being charged over the murder of Sabina Nessa today as well, women across the country are taking to social media to express their concerns about their safety.

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Emily Kelly

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May 2022
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