A London Metropolitan Police officer has been sentenced to life without parole after pleading guilty in July to the murder of Sarah Everard, whose disappearance and death in March sparked nationwide mourning and outrage.
Wayne Kuzens confessed to kidnapping Everard on the evening of March 3, 2021, a 50-minute walk from his friend’s home in south London. Prosecutors said he falsely accused her of violating COVID-19 restrictions by luring her into his car.
Everard’s body was discovered a week later near Ashford in County Kent, about 90 kilometers southeast of London.
After Couzens was sentenced on Thursday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told reporters that she was “absolutely horrified,” with Couzens using her position as a police officer to trick Everard into her vehicle and force done for She said his actions were “a blatant betrayal of everything to policing.”
She said she knew that for some people, the bond of trust in the police was broken, but promised that the police department’s devotion to the public would not diminish.
The disappearance of Sarah Everard sparked a nationwide outrage in Britain, with thousands expressing sadness and anger about the safety of women in London and elsewhere. Women then also began to share experiences of being bullied or assaulted – or faced with everyday fears of violence when walking alone.
The incident prompted British opposition Labor Party legislator Jess Phillips to pay tribute to the 118 women in Britain who have been killed by men in the UK’s House of Commons over the past 12 months by having their names read out.
Some information in this report has been received from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.