Family of Sarah Everard release statement following whole life sentence of former policeman for her kidnap, rape and murder

Sarah Everard

The family of Sarah Everard have issued a statement following the sentencing of a former policeman who kidnapped, raped and murdered her.

Wayne Couzens, 48, has sentenced to a ‘whole life’ prison term at the Old Bailey today (September 30).

The 40-year-old, from Deal, used his police officer role to falsely ‘arrest’ Sarah before driving her to Kent and carrying out his horrific crime.

Couzens abducted Sarah while she was walking from Clapham to her home on March 3.

He drove her to an area near Dover, raped her and strangled her, He then burned her body inside a fridge at woodland near Ashford before dumping her remains in a pond.

He was arrested on March 9. Police carried out major searches in the hunt for evidence, including in Sandwich.

Following his whole life order sentencing today, Sarah’s family 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.”

A statement from the Met Police says: “We are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes which betray everything we stand for.

“Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and her many friends. It is not possible for us to imagine what they are going through.”

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation, said: “I have not commented during the judicial process but now Couzens has been sentenced I can. This predator is an absolute disgrace to the police service, and I am totally ashamed that he was ever a police officer.

“I am proud to carry a warrant card, but this vile individual’s abuse of that authority has cast a shadow on all those who work within policing. He has brought disgrace to our uniform.

“The way he took advantage of Sarah’s trust makes me feel sick to the stomach.

“No sentence will ever ease the pain for the family and friends of Sarah or undo the terrible damage this disgusting man has done. He doesn’t deserve to have another single day of freedom and I hope every day he spends in prison is a long one.

“My thoughts, and those of all my colleagues, remain entirely with Sarah’s family and friends.”


  1. There comes a time in life we’re the death penalty should be introduced. What this thing did to this poor girl.i ask myself has he done this before. Rip my love.

    • Highly unlikely-he is totally inept at committing & covering up crimes, not even the most rudimentary effort was made by him.

    • I agree and I’m against the death penalty. It’s often used in completely the wrong cases and so many times innocent men have been killed. I do though question what benefit there is to keep this man alive if he will always be in jail. I think he should always be in jail by the way. In this case there is no grey area. He was caught on footage, admitting it, and it’s a horrific case.

      Nothing appears to deter men like this… men who have power and happily wield it over others.

      I’d rather see a proper over haul of the police. The nicknames he had and the behaviour he was allowed to show – shows how bad our police have become.

        • He didn’t. That’s the point. He raped her and didn’t want to leave a witness. That’s the point surely.

      • It wouldn’t have been that difficult if the police were run properly-supposedly they had CCTV footage from McDonalds of him flashing his privates at female members of staff the week before-as soon as that evidence was seized & looked at he should have been suspended with his warrant card & weapons taken away-within 24 hours of the offence. Instead he was allowed to carry on as if nothing had happened & one assumes the investigation would commence when they could be bothered to get round to it.

        Also it shows the draconian powers given to police to harass members of the public going about their business regarding Covid-as we saw far from it being used solely to go after people congregating large groups in various parts of the country the police were out harassing lone people sitting a long way away from anybody else & in some places even going down supermarket aisles following people to see if they were buying ‘essential items’ only-to where the government themselves had to release a statement saying this was total nonsense & to stop it immediately.

    • I have always been against the death penalty because there is always the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. However, this is a particularly evil crime and the evidence is overwhelming but I do wonder if Wayne Couzens is mentally ill so my views are mixed.
      You ask what good would the extreme penalty do and my answer to that question is that it would save tax payers the enormous cost of a lifetime of incarceration, especially of someone who is only 48.
      I would like to send my deepest sympathies not only to the bereaved family but also the family of Wayne Couzens who must also be totally devastated. Life for them is going to be exceedingly difficult.

      • Why is it particularly evil? There have been far worse rapist/murderers who haven’t been given whole life sentences for multiple killings-only one of the railway murders got one for instance.

        Again this seems more like a sentence based on the media & public outcry/pressure than one based on precedence. The same with the US-there is no logical reason why Mark Chapman is still in prison after 41 years for one murder-when others have been paroled in half the time, the problem was he killed somebody famous. This may well be overturned on appeal to a minimum tariff of 30-40 years-not that it matters much, as a cop he will have a target on his head, add in his crimes & he is highly unlikely to survive, not even taking into account his age.

        • Your logic is backwards. He is getting the punishment he should, others didn’t. I think you’ll find most people would agree using his police badge and arresting her is next level. Abusing trust has always been seen as worse, we should be able to trust the police.

          I think rather than the jails being full of inner city youths that had personal use weed on them – we could keep rapists and murderers in longer. They are far more dangerous to society.

          I can’t believe people think this guy should be back on the streets because he only killed, raped and burnt one person.

          Broken Britain.
          Broken Britain.

          • Not sure why anybody would trust the police-decades of corruption, racism, sexism etc. Look at all the verbals, denial of lawyers-including for adults with the mental age of children-telling them if they coughed to murder they could go home, physical & mental torture to extract confessions etc before they actually bought some rules in back in 1984 with PACE & even after that cops were after the lawyer had gone conducting illegal interviews in cells unrecorded to get round that, setting bait honey-traps trying to lead somebody into confessing to something he never did etc, while Napper was free to carry on killing.

            Just look at how they behaved during lockdown-going around harassing women in the middle of nowhere jogging, or sitting in a park with nobody anywhere near them, snooping on what people were buying in supermarkets etc. There are lots of tossers like him on the force-full of of their own imagined importance, power hungry & knowing they face little action if they cross the line.

            I don’t think he should be back on the streets-but the reality is he is a 48 year old, a 30-40 year sentence for anybody of that age is effectively a death sentence & when you are a cop your chances of survival in jail decrease even further.

      • You could, of course, extend that argument.
        What about motorists who’ve killed whilst driving and using a mobile phone? Save the tax payer a fortune, and top ’em.
        What about a surgeon who through negligence kills a patient? Never mind suspending him from practice, suspend him from a rope?
        And should capital punishment be reserved just for people who’ve directly killed others?
        40,000 people on the UK die every year because of polluted atmosphere- shouldn’t we terminate every driver, and save thousands of lives and the country a fortune?

        • You’ve somewhat added far too many assumptions to my post. I was merely giving an answer to PQ’s question, in no way was i offering an opinion on the merits or otherwise of capital punishment. Though to conflate a murder (which by definition is killing with intent) with the rather dubious statistics of cumulative days of shortened life being seen as deaths attributed to air pollution is a bit far fetched even by the standards of the more outlandish comments on here.

        • Andrew…. You really think any of them are comparable?!? Do you know anything about this case? I usually agree with your posts but here you are way off the mark.

          I don’t agree with the death penalty but it’s clear at times our justice system is broken at every level and this is one such case. This guy has been enabled by the system for years – protected even.

  2. This is a national news story not Isle of Thanet News. It is very rare we get news from out of Thanet here but this was a horrendous killing that shook the country. He must stay away from the public now for good.

  3. I don’t want a death penalty for him. He’s an ex cop inside for a terrible crime. He is not going to have a fun time.

    • His colleagues nicknamed he the “rapist” he had been allowed to act in heinous ways for years. You don’t think he will get special treatment in Jail? He will have his own room, in isolation with the ability to form relationships with females on the outside, with TV and books. He has got off lightly and will continue to be shielded by the system that allowed this to take place. Fact.

      • More likely the screws will be going out of their way to let other prisoners get close to him-imagine some of the old boiling water & sugar treatment might happen, shanking etc. A guy like this will likely swagger round like he owns the place-the guards & the cons will already hate him, that will just make him an even bigger target.

  4. To be honest everyone seems to be obsessed with punishment for him. He has been given the strongest possible sentence what we need to focus on is the police force – he was in WhatsApp groups sharing illegal content with multiple (5plus) other officers, he colleagues called him the rapist (as a joke) – he had been caught exposing himself multiple times…. The police force needs complete reforms. Today the police have multiple times blame the victim saying she needed to be more streetwise and know her rights and not submit to arrest?!! What is this rubbish….. the police force is corrupt, officers have lost their way, allow the most offensive behaviour to go on and sexism is rife. It’s time for major changes and unfortunately a major cull in the force. Transparency and constantly wellness testing for officers. They have lost the trust of many of us and a few words about lessons learnt and victim blaming will not cut it. This monster is not the only guilty party here.

    • You are quite right Not Impressed, misogyny appears to be rife in the Police, despite one third of them being female! I am elderly and infirm, and I stopped going out at night long ago for fear of attack! So, ladies if you think all men are rapists, as I was once told at a professional meetings decades ago, don’t go out at night alone!

      Also, as I was attacked by three women, in the dark, in Ramsgate, a friend bought me a “Victim Identifier” spray, they are legal, and can temporarily blind someone if it gets into their eyes, and is removed easily with water! But they look like a Pepper Spray, and I have had to threaten to use it on three occasions in the last 6 years! They cost about £8.00 and I have my hand on it all the time I go out nowadays, even to the shops!

      • Can I add that the first place to look to find potential sex offenders could be the so called “Incel” sad losers, who formed a club for men who are “Involuntary Celibate”, Duuurh! Men who think they have some sort of entitlement to have sex with women, and blame them if women find them not just unattractive, but unworthy of their attention!

  5. In my opinion, a public inquiry into who allowed that (at fault) officer was allowed by (other personnel) to operate is 100% necessary. Met pol and other constabularies need to understand What they are there for.

    Really needs a public inquiry, why and who allowed that BxxxXXxx to actually work !.

    Sorry, i am so letdown and deflated by the current gb policing policy.

    Change needs to happen.

Comments are closed.