UK

Wayne Couzens has been sentenced to 19 months for three offences of indecent exposure before he abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

The former Metropolitan Police officer is already serving a whole life sentence for the murder of Ms Everard, 33, in March 2021.

Following the sentencing, Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS special crime division called the crimes “abhorrent” saying he “caused great distress and discomfort for the victims”.

Couzens, 50, was sentenced to a total of 19 months for the first offence, which took place in woodland in Kent, and then a further six months each for the two later incidents, at a fast food restaurant in the county.

They will be served concurrently, meaning an overall sentence of 19 months.

He pleaded guilty to all three counts of indecent exposure in February.

As it happened: Sarah Everard’s killer sentenced for indecent exposure

A number of victims also spoke about the impact that the incidents have had on them.

In an emotional delivery, one victim said it has made her realise that some police officers could be a threat, and if he had been held accountable at the time of the exposure, it could have saved Ms Everard.

Couzens was on duty at time of incident

The incidents took place at numerous locations between November 2020 and February 2021.

On the first occasion, Couzens appeared naked in a narrow rural lane in Deal – the Kent coastal town where he is from – and exposed his genitals as a woman cycled past.

He was supposedly on duty at the time, according to the prosecution.

The cyclist later reported the incident online to Kent Police. After Couzens’ arrest over the disappearance of Ms Everard, she contacted police again, after recognising his picture.

Read more:
Sarah Everard’s killer pleads guilty to three counts of indecent exposure
Wayne Couzens sentenced to whole life-order
Met Police officer and ex-PC jailed for sharing offensive messages with Sarah Everard’s killer

Couzens also exposed himself to staff at a fast food drive-thru restaurant in Kent, on 14 and 27 February 2021.

On the last occasion, staff took a registration number and identified the car from CCTV as a black Seat which was registered to Couzens.

A credit card in his name was also used to pay.

‘It will remain with me for the rest of my life’

Appearing in court via video link from Frankland Prison, Durham, Couzens gave no reaction as statements from the women were read out in court.

The female cyclist said her “freedom” to enjoy country walks and cycling had been taken away by his “selfish, aggressive act”.

“Four months after you exposed yourself to me, you raped and murdered an innocent woman,” she told Couzens. “The horror of what happened will remain with me for the rest of my life.”

Another victim described that she has now started to take public transport home from work.

She said: “I should feel able to walk home while feeling safe.”

Mrs Justice May made it clear why it was important Couzens was sentenced for these other crimes, even if it makes no difference to the overall time he spends in prison.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player


2:31

‘Survivor’s guilt’ of Couzens victim

She said it was an “administration of justice” but also acted as “some form of restitution for the victims”, with all three speaking “justly of their shock and upset at this defendant’s selfish, sexually aggressive acts”.

“One woman, after discovering who had done this and what he had gone on to do, speaks of a wholly understandable sense of survivor’s guilt,” Mrs Justice May said.

“The fact that no police came to find him or his black car to question him about these incidents can only have served to confirm and strengthen in the defendant’s mind a dangerous belief in his invincibility, in his power sexually to dominate and abuse women without being stopped.”

Articles You May Like

‘She couldn’t put it down’: Woman died from nitrous oxide and immobility, inquest finds
OJ Simpson dies – the story of his complex legacy
Spurs’ win leaves 3 teams tied for West’s top seed
Stabbed police dog saved after officers rush him to hospital
Love, loss and addiction: Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black has its world premiere in London