The Weekend Leader - Ex-UK police officer handed life sentence for murder

Ex-UK police officer handed life sentence for murder




A former British Metropolitan police officer who murdered a woman after kidnapping and raping her was ordered to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Wayne Couzens, 48, was sentenced a whole-life order in prison for the "grotesque" killing of the 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard under the guise of an arrest, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sentencing at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales in London, known as the Old Bailey, on Thursday, Lord Justice Fulford said the seriousness of the case, which shocked and outraged the whole nation, was so "exceptionally high" that it warranted a whole life order.

"The misuse of a police officer's role such as occurred in this case in order to kidnap, rape and murder a lone victim is of equal seriousness as a murder for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause," he told the court.

The court had heard how Couzens used his police warrant card and handcuffs to snatch Everard as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.

The firearms officer then drove to a secluded rural area near Dover in southeastern England where he raped the victim, strangled her with his police-issue belt, and burned her body before dumping the remains in a pond.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "sickened" by the details that emerged during sentencing.

"Our police are there to protect us -- and I know that officers will share in our shock and devastation at the total betrayal of this duty. People must be able to walk on our streets without fear of harm and with full confidence that the police are there to keep them safe," he said.- IANS

Labour Party lawmaker Harriet Harman has called on Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign after the shocking crime.

In a letter to Dick, Harman said women's confidence in the police "will have been shattered" and it would be impossible for the current commissioner to oversee the changes needed to rebuild trust.

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