Sarah Everard’s family speak out after her murderer is sent to jail for the rest of his life
The family of Sarah Everard have expressed relief that the police officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered her will die in prison.
Wayne Couzens, 48, was handed a whole life sentence for killing the 33-year-old marketing executive after using his warrant card and handcuffs to snatch her off the street using Covid lockdown rules to make a false arrest.
Ms Everard’s parents, Jeremy, a lecturer at the University of York, and Susan, clasped hands and hugged police officers after he was taken down to the cells.
Later, they issued a statement. They said:
“We are very pleased that Wayne Couzens has received a full life sentence and will spend the rest of his life in jail.
“Nothing can make things better, nothing can bring Sarah back, but knowing he will be imprisoned forever brings some relief.
“Sarah lost her life needlessly and cruelly and all the years of life she had yet to enjoy were stolen from her.
“Wayne Couzens held a position of trust as a police officer and we are outraged and sickened that he abused this trust in order to lure Sarah to her death. The world is a safer place with him imprisoned.
“It is almost seven months since Sarah died and the pain of losing her is overwhelming. We miss her all the time. She was a beautiful young woman in looks and character and our lives are the poorer without her.
“We remember all the lovely things about Sarah – her compassion and kindness, her intelligence, her strong social conscience. But we especially like to remember her laughing and dancing and enjoying life. We hold her safe in our hearts.
“We are immensely grateful to the police and legal team who worked on Sarah’s case. We cannot thank them enough for their meticulous and painstaking work and for their constant support.
“We also send our heartfelt thanks to our family and friends for comforting us through this terrible time.”
In his sentencing, Lord Justice Fulford said Couzens had researched how best to commit his crimes for at least a month before abducting Ms Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.
“You kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, having long planned a violent sexual assault on a yet-to-be-selected victim who you intended to coerce into your custody,” he told Couzens.
“You have irretrievably damaged the lives of Sarah Everard’s family and friends.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “There are no words that adequately express the horror of Sarah’s murder. Like the rest of the country, I have been sickened by what we have heard over the course of this sentencing and the pain and suffering endured by her family and friends is truly unimaginable.
“No woman should have to fear harassment or violence. We will do everything possible to prevent these abhorrent crimes and keep our communities safe.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said she recognised “the precious bond of trust has been damaged” following the murder of Sarah Everard by officer Wayne Couzens, who had “brought shame on the Met”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “In terms of the monster that has been convicted today, it is right that he has been given a whole life tariff and with that he can never walk the streets of our country again. “Alongside that of course, it is right that we constantly hold the police to account for what has happened.”