Details have emerged of the words uttered to Wayne Couzens seconds before Lord Justice Fulford told him that he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Couzens has been sentenced to a whole-of-life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.
Couzens strangled Ms Everard with his police belt after kidnapping her during a false arrest on 3rd March.
The disgraced former officer showed his warrant card to Ms Everard before restraining the 33-year-old, putting her in his hire car and driving away.
The Diplomatic Protection Officer, who had clocked off from a 12-hour shift at the American embassy that morning, drove to a secluded area near Dover in Kent, where he parked up and raped Ms Everard.
Lord Justice Fulford told Couzens to stand before he said:
“Wayne Couzens, 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.
“You have irretrievably damaged the lives of Sarah Everard’s family and friends, in the ways to which I have, at least in part, referred.
“Mrs Everard devastatingly referred to how the wider world has now lost its appeal for her and, I would add, no doubt for many others who cared for your victim, and Sarah Everard’s sister referred to the inescapable reality of the many lives you have ruined.
“You have eroded the confidence that the public are entitled to have in the police forces of England and Wales.
“It is critical that every subject in this country can trust police officers when they encounter them and submit to their authority, which they are entitled to believe is being exercised in good faith.
“You have utterly betrayed your family.
“Your wife and children, who on all the evidence, are entirely blameless will have to live with the ignominy of your dreadful crimes for the rest of their lives.
“You have very considerably added to the sense of insecurity that many have living in our cities, perhaps particularly women, when travelling by themselves and especially at night.
“During the period before your arrest, there was never a moment when you gave the slightest indication of regret, following perhaps the realisation of the enormity of the dreadful crimes you had committed.
“Instead, you simultaneously attended to the inconsequential details of family life whilst grimly covering your tracks, with all the appearance of a man acting with quiet and unconcerned determination.
“The substantial CCTV footage and similar material does not give the slightest hint of someone in trauma, who has started to have second thoughts in the cold light of day about what they have done.
“Notwithstanding your guilty pleas, therefore, I have seen no evidence of genuine contrition on your part as opposed to evident self-pity and attempts by you to avoid or minimise the proper consequences of what you have done.
“Those consequences are that on the count of murder you will be imprisoned for life and the tariff is a whole life order.
“I have taken into account the offences of kidnapping and rape in reaching that decision and on those counts I impose no separate penalty.
“Take him down.”
The Judge also paid tribute to the officers who worked tirelessly to bring Ms Everard’s murderer to justice.
He said: “This has been the most impressive police investigation that I have encountered in the 30 years I have been sitting as a part-time and full-time judge.
“The speed with which the evidence leading to the arrest of the defendant was secured is highly notable, as has been the painstaking reconstruction of these events using electronic material along with more old-fashioned methods of policing.
“It cannot be suggested in my view that the Metropolitan Police, even for a moment, attempted to close ranks to protect one of their own.
“Instead, remorselessly, efficiently and impartially the investigating officers followed all the available leads, resulting in an overwhelming case against the accused.
“Meriting particular mention are Detective Chief Inspector Catherine Goodwin, Detective Kim Martin and Acting Detective Inspector Lee Tullett.
“Mr Tullett has been a key figure in the investigation and the preparation of this case, going well beyond what could properly be expected of any police officer, and his role deserves high commendation.”
A spokesperson for Sarah Everard’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.”
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