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UK report says murderer of woman in south London 'should never have been an officer'

'What was done to her was an act of pure evil at the hands of someone whose duty it was to protect her and it shocked the nation to its core,' says James Cleverly

11:36 - 1/03/2024 Friday
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File photo
File photo

An off-duty police officer who kidnapped and murdered a woman in south London three years ago should never have been employed, an official inquiry revealed Thursday.

Wayne Couzens, who was a Metropolitan Police officer at the time, raped and killed Sarah Everard.

The report of the inquiry into the March 2021 murder of Everard, led by Lady Elish Angiolini, said Couzens "should never have been a police officer, but opportunities to deny him that privilege were missed."

On March 3, 2021, while she was walking home, 33-year-old Everard was stopped and handcuffed by Couzens, who later kidnapped, raped and murdered her.

The report on Everard's murder said Couzens used his position as a police officer to impress or intimidate people he met, but added that after he joined the service in 2006, numerous opportunities to stop him were missed.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said his office was "taking action to address public confidence in the police."

"What was done to her was an act of pure evil at the hands of someone whose duty it was to protect her and it shocked the nation to its core," he said in a video statement on X.

While noting that the police force has undertaken reforms to identify and kick out officers unfit to wear the uniform over the years since Everard was murdered, he admitted that "there is still work to be done."

"The inquiry has helped us, not just because of its significant findings, but because its implementation made us feel that Sarah's life was valued and her memory honoured," Everard's family said in a statement.

#James Cleverly
#kidnapping
#Lady Elish Angiolini
#murder
#police
#Sarah Everard
#UK
#Wayne Couzens
1 month ago