Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to indecent exposure

13 February 2023, 14:58 | Updated: 13 February 2023, 18:05

Wayne Couzens will have his prison sentence reviewed.
Wayne Couzens admitted to the offences at the Old Bailey. Picture: Met Police

By James Hockaday

The disgraced police officer who killed Sarah Everard has admitted three counts of indecent exposure in the months before her death.

Wayne Couzens, who is currently serving a whole-life order in prison over 33-year-old Ms Everard's rape and murder, pleaded guilty to the additional charges at the Old Bailey.

The first flashing incident happened in woodland in Deal, Kent, on November 13, 2020, and the other two were at fast food restaurant elsewhere in the county, on 14 and 27 February 2021.

The third offence was just days before he kidnapped Ms Everard in Clapham, south London, on 3 March after stopping her under the pretence of Covid laws.

The 33-year-old marketing executive was walking home from a friend's house when she was abducted, and her body was found in a stream in Ashford, Kent, a week later.

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Sarah Everard died from "compression to the neck", a post mortem has concluded.
Sarah Everard, 33, was strangled to death by Couzens. Picture: PA

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Her death, and the revelation she was killed by a serving police officer, sparked anger across the country and ignited a debate over male violence and the safety of women on the UK's streets.

Such a dangerous predator being able to abuse his power in this way seriously damaged the reputation of London's Metropolitan Police, who have since faced a number of scandals over the conduct of its officers.

Couzens, 50, entered his latest pleas via video-link from Frankland Prison, Durham, and is due to be sentenced on March 6.

An additional three counts will be left on file, as prosecutors said it would not be in the public interest to seek another trial for them.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who leads the Specialist Crime Command team that originally investigated the murder of Sarah Everard, said: “It was hugely important for the team to listen to those who came forward, investigate their allegations thoroughly and make sure Couzens faced justice for this offending.

“It was our job to support them and hold him to account on their behalf and we took this duty seriously. Today is about those who were subjected to his vile behaviour and who have helped bring him to justice.

“Couzens tried to frighten and demean them, but they have only shown strength and dignity in reporting him and supporting this investigation.

"I would like to thank them for their patience, co-operation and help throughout the case."

Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Professionalism, Bas Javid, said: “It’s every victim’s right to be listened to and to have their case investigated. I know the homicide team were meticulous and committed in doing everything they could to get justice for them.

“I hope this goes some small way to help the public understand that we will be ruthless in holding officers – even one serving a whole life order and who will never know freedom again – to account.

“We know the public will, understandably, be sickened at yet more grotesque crimes by Couzens. The process of flushing out the corrupt and the criminal from the Met will be slow and painful, but is necessary and we will continue to do so.

"This is how we will reform, move forward and become an institution Londoners can have confidence in."