A former London police officer serving a life sentence for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Londoner Sarah Everard was sentenced to 19 months on Monday for acts of indecent exposure. One of the facts took place a few days before Everard’s murder.
Wayne Couzens, 50, was convicted of three charges. In the first offence, in November 2020, he exposed his genitals to a female cyclist on a country lane in Kent, southern England. Then, in February 2021, he did the same to two female customers at a McDonald’s restaurant drive-in in Kent.
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The latter event came just days before the kidnapping in March 2021 of London’s Sarah Everard, a case that caused quite a stir in the UK and exacerbated an already raging crisis of confidence in London’s Metropolitan Police. The “Met” was accused of turning a blind eye to the actions of its agent, who worked in an elite unit that handled diplomatic delegations, among other things.
“The fact that no one from the police came to question him about these incidents can only serve to confirm and reinforce in the suspect’s mind a dangerous belief in his invincibility; and of his sexual power to dominate and rape women without being stopped,” the judge said Monday when handing down the verdict at London’s Old Bailey criminal court.
The crisis at Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the London police force, was recently reignited by the sentencing of David Carrick, a former London police officer, to life imprisonment, serving at least 30 years, for dozens of rapes and assaults for nearly two decades.
The independent investigation launched after the Couzens case has been extended to the Carrick case.