Wayne Couzens took family on ‘day out’ to woods after burning Sarah Everard’s body and let kids play near her remains

EVIL Wayne Couzens took his family on a day out to the woods where he had burned Sarah Everard's body just days before.

The monster cop even let his two children play in "relatively close proximity" to where the 33-year-old's charred remains had been dumped.


Couzens, 48, also took his family to a service station he visited to buy two bottles of still water, an apple juice and a Lucozade Orange hours after he murdered Sarah.

Prosecutor Tom Little QC told the Old Bailey: "It follows that the defendant took his family on a family trip to the very woods where days earlier he had left Sarah Everard's body, then returned to burn it and then returned again to move it and hide it."

The fiend, who is being sentenced, kidnapped Sarah off the streets on March 3 after prowling London for a victim in a rental car.

He handcuffed the marketing executive during a fake arrest and then drove her 50 miles to her death.

After raping and strangling her, Couzens then burned her body in a plot of land he bought in 2019 that he described as "perfect for a day out".

Police believe she was dead by 2.31am – five hours after she was snatched from the street.

Couzens, who was known to wear a police belt with handcuffs while off-duty, put her charred remains in green rubble bags and dumped them in a pond in woodland.

He then treated himself to a hot chocolate with coconut milk and bakewell tart from Costa just hours after the murder.

The next morning, Couzens returned the rental car and chucked Sarah's phone into a river in Sandwich, Kent.

He also bought petrol which he used to burn Sarah's body before calling his vet to make an appointment for the family dog about "possible medication for separation anxiety".

Sarah's body had to be identified by dental records after being found a week later more than 50 miles away in Ashford, Kent.

Post-mortem results later revealed she died from a compression to the neck.

Mr Little said: "Sarah Everard's disappearance on the evening of 3rd March 2021 led to one of the most widely publicised missing person investigations this country has seen.

"What had taken place became widely summarised on social media as #shewasonlywalkinghome.

"That is true. Sarah Everard was only walking home when she was taken off the street from her family, friends and colleagues by the defendant on the evening of 3rd March 2021.

"However, those five words do not fairly or completely begin to describe what happened to her and her body at the hands of the defendant in the hours and days that followed her kidnap.

"Whilst it is impossible to summarise what the defendant did to Sarah Everard in just five words, if it had to be done then it would be appropriate to do so as deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation, fire".

WEB OF LIES

Couzens spun a web of lies after he was arrested – meaning Sarah's heartbroken family and the police never found out the real reason why he snatched and strangled Sarah.

He was painted today as a sex mad fiend despite portraying the image of a married dad-of-two and even contacted escorts and used a Match.com dating profile.

Bizarrely, Couzens claimed he kidnapped Sarah, who was a stranger to him, for a "gang of Eastern Europeans".

He was in debt by about £29,000 with additional credit card debt at the time he murdered Sarah.

Couzens previously claimed he was unable to pay for a prostitute he met in a Holiday Inn in Folkestone so was ordered to find "another girl" otherwise his family would be harmed.

The cop told officers he drove Sarah to a lay-by between Ashford and Maidstone where three men got out of a van and took the marketing executive.

KILLING KIT

The dad-of-two then suggested the trio had murdered Sarah – even though her body was discovered on land he owned.

In the days leading up to the murder, Couzens hatched a ghastly plot to travel to London and abduct a woman.

On February 28 he rented the car used to snatch Sarah using his name, address and two different mobile phones.

Minutes later, he bought a 600mm by 100mm roll of self-adhesive film from Amazon to use in the attack.

On the night he took Sarah, the cop was seen on CCTV buying hairbands he used in the horror.

As part of his grim killing kit, the monster also purchased carpet protector, tarpaulin, and a cargo net on March 7.

And Couzens was seen buying two large green rubble bags from B&Q on March 5 – the same day he called his work to say he was "suffering from stress" and was unable to work.

Sarah vanished after walking home from a friend's house in Clapham, South West London, on March 3.

The court was told she was "in good spirits" and spent around 14 minutes on the phone to her boyfriend.

Sarah was seen alone on CCTV at 9.15pm, again at 9.28pm and was later captured on the camera of a marked police car at 9.32pm.

Chilling footage taken at 9.38pm showed two figures standing by Couzens' rented white Vauxhall Crossland.

It is understood she was snatched by the fiend just seconds later.

FREE TO KILL

Gun cop Couzens, who joined the Met Police in 2018, was charged with kidnap and murder more than a week after Sarah first vanished when police swooped on his home in Deal, Kent.

The cop, who worked on the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, had finished a shift earlier on the morning of March 3 and was not on duty at the time of Sarah's disappearance.

Despite wiping his phone, data on the device linked Couzens to the abduction and eventually the area where Sarah was found.

While in custody, former mechanic Couzens was twice taken to hospital with head injuries.

Questions are now mounting over why Couzens was even still on the force following a wave of indecent exposure claims made against him.

Shockingly, Couzens was not given enhanced vetting when he joined the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit in February 2020.

This was despite colleagues in the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where he worked before the Metropolitan Police, nicknaming him The Rapist.

Twelve police officers are being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct for gross misconduct over matters relating to the case.

The watchdog is probing whether the Met failed to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure relating to Couzens just four days before he took Sarah.

A separate investigation is also ongoing into claims Kent Police failed to follow up on an allegation of indecent exposure in Dover in 2015.

The Met issued a statement today ahead of the hearing, saying they are "sickened, angered and devastated" by Couzens' actions.

How murder of Sarah Everard sparked ‘tidal wave’ of grief and fears about women’s safety

SARAH’S tragic death caused global outrage and sparked a ‘tidal wave’ of grief.

The haunting words 'she was just walking home' screamed from social media platforms as women revealed their own horror stories.

Many told how they had been harassed on the street and public transport – with one even flashed at a vigil for Sarah.

The outpouring prompted the Home Office to reopen a public consultation on tackling violence against women and girls, which then received more than 160,000 responses.

Vigils were held across the country as outraged Brits paid tribute to Sarah.

Campaign group Reclaim These Streets was formed in the wake of Sarah's death.

Jamie Klingler, one of the founders, said: "It feels like a tidal wave of half of the population saying: 'This is your problem, you need to fix it and you need to fix it now – we're not taking it any more'."

Some of the vigils were mired by violence as heavy-handed cops arrested protesters.

A planned event due to be held in London on Clapham Common had been cancelled due to the pandemic but thousands still attended to pay their respects.

Kate Middelton was among those who came to look at a shrine made near where Sarah was last seen.

Sarah's death sparked vigils across the country and demands for action to tackle violence against women.

Thousands of women shared stories on social media about how they had been harassed while on the street and public transport.

Campaign group Reclaim These Streets was formed in the wake of Sarah's death with a vigil in Clapham Common attended by Kate Middleton.

The movement has continued in recent weeks following the killing of 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa in Kidbrooke, South East London.

Sarah's family previously paid tribute to their "bright and beautiful daughter and sister".

In a statement, they said: “Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister. 

“She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour. 

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all.

“We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.”

Anyone affected can visit End Violence Against Women, StreetSafe or the Suzy Lamplugh Trust





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