Sarah Everard: Cressida Dick reacts to Couzens’ life sentence
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Ex-cop Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and killed Sarah Everard. He was last month handed a whole-life prison term that he is now trying to appeal, to which members of the public, journalists and celebrities — including Piers Morgan — are reacting with anger.
Taking to Twitter, Piers wrote: “F*** off.”
As details of Ms Everard’s murder emerged last month, he said: “Everything about the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard is just gut-wrenchingly awful.
“And the fact her depraved killer was a serving policeman makes it even more appalling.
“My heart breaks for her poor family. RIP Sarah.”
A court official said on Tuesday: “We have been notified that an appeal has been lodged by Mr Couzens.”
Last March, Couzens abused his police role to handcuff 33-year-old Miss Everard, trick her into his car, and drive from Clapham in South London to Kent to rape and murder her, before burning her body and leaving it in the woods.
His crime sent shockwaves through the UK and beyond.
Whole-life sentences are reserved for crimes such as serial killings and politically motivated murders, and the judge’s imposition set new legal ground.
Lord Justice Fulford said at the Old Bailey last month that Couzens had “used his position as a police officer” to get hold of Miss Everard and claimed his crime was “of equal seriousness as a murder carried out for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause”.
If permission for the former Met firearms officer to appeal is granted, the case will be heard by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.
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The fact that his crimes were serious but not within the usual framework of a whole-life tariff is expected to be used in his application.
In being served a whole-life sentence, Couzens joined a group of more than 60 criminals in the country.
Couzens was reportedly known as “the rapist” among colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, and there were other several instances of inappropriate behaviour that hinted at him being a predator.
The British public, in response to the Metropolitan police’s inaction, lost confidence and denounced the “systematic failures” that allowed Couzens to continue to serve as an officer despite signs of indecency.
Admitting the “recent tragic events have exposed unimaginable failures in policing”, Priti Patel said: “There will be an inquiry, to give the independent oversight needed, to ensure something like this can never happen again.”
Speaking of Couzens’s attempt to appeal, a justice official at the Court of Appeal Criminal Division said: “We expected this. He has nothing to lose.”
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