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Wayne Couzens sacked from Met Police after admitting murder of Sarah Everard
16 July 2021, 18:01 | Updated: 16 July 2021, 19:19
PC Wayne Couzens has been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police after admitting the murder, rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard.
Scotland Yard said that a misconduct hearing on Friday found that the actions of 48-year-old Couzens breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct.
The hearing, chaired by Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, dismissed Couzens - who was attached to the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command - without notice, the force added.
Ms Ball said: "Couzens has betrayed everything we, the police, stand for and following his guilty pleas and convictions I have dismissed him today.
"All of us in the Met are horrified, sickened and angered by this man's crimes.
“Sarah was a young woman who had her life cruelly snatched away from her. I know she is sorely missed by so many people and our thoughts remain with her loved ones.
“We are so profoundly sorry."
The force said it held an accelerated hearing as quickly as possible following Couzens' guilty plea and conviction on July 9.
Ms Everard, 33, went missing on March 3 whilst walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London.
Couzens was arrested on March 9, and charged with kidnap and murder after Ms Everard’s body was found in Kent woodland on March 12.
He is due to be sentenced on September 29.
The murder sparked protests across the country about the rate of violence against women.
From politicians to journalists, actresses to ordinary members of the public, women across the UK spoke out to share their experiences of walking alone at night.
The murder was branded a “watershed” moment by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, saying: “The awful events of the last week have lifted a veil on the epidemic of violence against women and girls.
"This must be a watershed moment to change how we as a society change how we treat women and girls, and how we prevent and end sexual violence and harassment.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel made a speech in the House of Commons vowing to make all women and girls feel safe “walking our streets”.
She said: "Too many of us have walked home from school or work alone, only to hear footsteps uncomfortably close behind us. Too many of us have pretended to be on the phone to a friend to scare someone off. Too many of us have clutched our keys in our fist in case we need to defend ourselves."
She said that the murder had “reminded women of the steps that we take each day without a second thought to keep ourselves safe”.
“My heartache and that of others can be summed up in just five words,” said Ms Patel.
“She was just walking home.”