UK Officer Who Murdered Sarah Everard After Arrest on False Pretenses Gets Life in Prison, No Parole

Lord Justice Adrian Fulford said Thursday that Sarah Everard was a "blameless victim of a grotesque executed series of offenses"

Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Former London police officer Wayne Couzens will spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping, raping and murdering 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard last March, PEOPLE confirms.

The mandatory prison sentence, which offers no possibility of parole, was imposed on Thursday by Lord Justice Adrian Fulford, according to the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

In his sentencing remarks, Fulford described Everard as a "blameless victim of a grotesque executed series of offenses." Fulford characterized the case as "devastating, tragic, and wholly brutal."

CNN reports that Couzens — who stalked Everard before handcuffing her as part of a false arrest — kept his head bowed and his eyes closed while he was being sentenced, as he had done for most of the two-day hearing.

Fulford chastized Couzens' behavior in court, calling it a show of "self-pity."

Couzens, a police constable who mostly patrolled diplomatic premises, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping Everard back in June.

Prosecutors on Wednesday said Couzens lured Everard into a rental car by "handcuffing her as well as showing her his warrant card."

Wayne Couzens
Wayne Couzens. SWNS

Prosecutors said eyewitnesses saw Couzens place Everard in handcuffs. Everard appeared compliant, the eyewitnesses said, and had her head down. The witnesses assumed Couzens was an undercover police officer making an official arrest.

Everard disappeared back on March 3 while walking home from a friend's house at night in London. On March 12, police confirmed that remains found in the woods in Kent, more than 50 miles away, were hers.

Her death and the search for a suspect prompted many women to share stories about fearing for their safety in public.

During a vigil for Everard held on March 13, police, citing COVID-19 restrictions, used force to try and disperse those in attendance.

Press at the scene captured footage of officers grabbing women at the event, which had evolved into a demonstration calling for an end to male violence in the country.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Among those participating in the national outcry over Everard's death was Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, who stopped in March and left flowers by the memorial in Clapham Common, an area near Everard's home in in London's Brixton neighborhood, where she was seen walking before her disappearance.

During Wednesday's proceedings, prosecutors said Couzens told a psychiatrist he'd strangled Sarah Everard with his police belt. But authorities believe Everard stayed alive for hours after the attack.

Couzens then burned Everard's body in the woods and placed her remains in bags.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that, days later, Couzens took his wife and two children on a trip to the same area where Everard's body was found.

Related Articles