British justice on Thursday sentenced a 48-year-old police officer to life imprisonment for the rape and murder in March of Sarah Everard, 33, whom he had handcuffed before kidnapping her, a case that deeply moved UK.
In announcing Wayne Couzens his sentence – the most severe possible – at the Criminal Court of the Old Bailey in London, Judge Adrian Fulford stressed that the murder had occurred under “particularly brutal circumstances” and had affected a victim “Totally irreproachable”.
The policeman who left to “hunt a woman alone”
The death of Sarah Everard, 33, kidnapped as she walked home from a dinner with friends and then found dead strangled and body burned a week later in a wood, had caused a stir in the country. Thousands of women had shared their feeling of insecurity on social networks, calling on politicians to act against violence against women.
The judge said Wayne Couzens, a married man with two children, had gone “to hunt a woman alone to kidnap and rape her” and that he must have realized that he “might need to kill her. “. The sentence imposed on this policeman – called the “whole life order” – is the most severe provided for in the British criminal justice system, intended to punish those who commit the most serious crimes.
“Minimize your real responsibility”
A person sentenced to such a sentence cannot submit requests for parole unless there are exceptional humanitarian grounds to justify them. The judge said the policeman tried to “minimize his real responsibility” during his interview with the police.
After assuring the police that he had handed Sarah Everard alive to three men from Eastern Europe, Wayne Couzens admitted his responsibility and pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder of the young marketing manager. Wayne Couzens’ lawyer Jim Sturman explained Thursday that his client “was not looking to make excuses for what he did and is filled with self-hatred and shame.”