Police ‘could have saved Sarah Everard,’ says victim - as killer cop Wayne Couzens sentenced for flashing

6 March 2023, 12:07 | Updated: 29 February 2024, 07:49

  • Former Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens 50, is already serving a whole life jail sentence

Wayne Couzens sentenced for flashing at women

By Asher McShane

Killer cop Wayne Couzens has been sentenced for three incidents of flashing before he abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

He was sentenced today to 19 months in prison for three incidents of flashing, with one of the victims accusing police of missing chances to save Sarah.

The former Metropolitan Police officer, 50, is already serving a whole life jail sentence for the murder of Ms Everard, 33.

In March 2021, Couzens, then a serving officer, snatched marketing executive Ms Everard as she walked home in south London.

Following his conviction, Couzens, formerly from Deal in Kent, was charged with multiple counts of indecent exposure.

Wayne Couzens has been sentenced to 19 months in prison
Wayne Couzens has been sentenced to 19 months in prison. Picture: Metropolitan Police

He targeted women at a drive thru restaurant near his home where he would order cheeseburgers and then expose himself at the serving window.

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The incidents were reported to the Met on February 28 2021, but he was not arrested and three days later he kidnapped, raped and murdered Ms Everard.

One of the victims told the Old Bailey: “If he had been held accountable when we had reported the crime, we could have saved Sarah,” she said.

The court heard that colleagues told her he had done the same ‘several times before’ at the same business.

Couzens has pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to three counts of indecent exposure.

The incidents took place in woodland and at a fast food restaurant in Kent between November 2020 and February 2021.

On November 13 2020, he stepped out of a woodland in Deal, Kent, naked and masturbated as a woman cycled past.

Mrs Justice May said: "She was scared and shaken, and could do nothing but cycle past, up the hill, as fast as she was able."

She noticed a black car parked 50m further on and recalled a partial number plate.

She warned away some walkers before calling her husband to tell him what had happened at about 1.40pm.

Traffic cameras and cell site data located Couzens in his Seat in that country area at that time.

A few months later, on different occasions on February 14 and 27 2021, Couzens exposed his genitals to staff at a drive-thru fast food restaurant in Kent.

He sat in his car and looked straight at them as he showed his erect penis while handing his card to pay for food.

The senior judge said: "The female staff were shaken, upset and angry."

On the last occasion, staff took a registration number and identified the car from CCTV as a black Seat which was registered to Couzens.

A credit card in his name was used to pay while ANPR and cell site data was used to track the defendant's car in the area at the time of the incidents.

Couzens had denied three other indecent exposure charges relating to an alleged incident in June 2015, one between January 22 and February 1 2021, and one between January 30 and February 6 2021.

Those charges are expected to be left on court file.

An independent inquiry led by Dame Elish Angiolini will consider Couzens' earlier sexual offending and whether opportunities were missed to stop him before he murdered Ms Everard.