Policeman jailed for life for Sarah Everard murder

A British police officer has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a London woman earlier this year.

Wayne Couzens, a serving London officer, pleaded guilty to the murder, rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard.

His whole life sentence means he has no chance of parole.

Everard was abducted as she walked home in the evening from a friend's house in south London on March 3. Her body was found in woodland around 50 miles away in southeast England.

The 33-year-old's murder prompted public rallies and outpourings of anger from women who recounted their own experiences and fears of being out alone at night.

London's Old Bailey court heard that Couzens had used his position as a police officer to stop and abduct Everard.

A witness saw Everard being handcuffed before her abduction and police investigating the case say Couzens may have used COVID-19 protocols as an excuse to falsely arrest her.

Couzens was sentenced after a two-day hearing.

Speaking after the sentencing, Everard's family said they were "very pleased" with the result, adding that the world was "a safer place with him imprisoned."

London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the case as one of the most dreadful events in the history of the service.

"This man has brought shame on the Met. Speaking frankly, as an organisation we have been rocked."

Britain's police watchdog is looking at police failures to investigate an indecent exposure incident linked to Couzens in 2015, and two further such allegations in February this year.

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