Sarah Everard Murder Case: Did Wayne Couzens Kill Her?

A BBC Studios documentary brings out the chilling case of the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a metropolitan policeman in the UK. Sarah Everard: The Search for Justice brings out the flawed police system that lets monsters like Wayne Couzens thrive in the department. The uniform that they wear gives them the right to play with the law and do anything that they want to. However, the exposure of this case has encouraged many women to come forward and report instances where they have been abused or raped by policemen. When the protectors of the law themselves become predators, then what can the common man do? 


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Sarah’s Disappearance Stir A Disbalance In Society?

Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman, went missing on March 3, 2021, in London while returning from dinner at a friend’s place. The news that a woman had gone missing spread like wildfire on the internet. Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who was in charge of the case, saw the news channels flaring up with rage after another woman had disappeared from the face of the city. Frankie McCamley, a reporter at the BBC and ITV, realized that the story would garner a lot of public attention. Meanwhile, Bell Ribeiro-Addt, the MP for Sarah’s Constituency, was pressured by the public, as they believed that the area was not safe for women. 


Was Wayne Couzens Involved In Sarah Everard’s Kidnapping And Murder?

As per Nick Harvey, a detective inspector, the last call made by Sarah was to her boyfriend at 21.28 p.m. The location that she was traced to for the last time was the Cavendish road. Meanwhile, CCTV on a public bus caught Sarah standing next to a car, and later a bystander revealed that she had gotten into the car. Upon further digging, it was found that Wayne Couzens had hired the car. The man, who was also a metropolitan police officer, had been reported three days ago for indecent exposure at a food joint (before Sarah went missing). It was revealed that he lived in Deal, Kent, and was working for the parliamentary and diplomatic protection group. When the police went to his place to arrest him, he said that he was in a financial crisis and that someone (one he had taken a loan from) had blackmailed him into kidnapping Sarah. The police knew that he had been lying but still saw a slim chance of finding some evidence against the blackmailers. After Wayne was arrested, his phone was checked, and the location during the time of Sarah’s disappearance was found in a rural area in the Hoad’s woods. When they went to survey the area, they found human remains, which were later confirmed to be Sarah’s. 

Wayne Couzen had been deliberately self-harming while in custody so that he would be deemed medically unfit. When the police further dug into the issue, the McDonald’s employee testified against Wayne’s indecent exposure, which eventually became a crucial part of the investigation. The investigators managed to find out that there were 17 similar cases against Wayne in the past, which had always gone unnoticed. Community groups got together, and there was widespread anger among them when they learned that a policeman was the accused. People started gathering in memory of Sarah in Clapman Common. Sarah’s murder had caused a debate across the country, generating chaos, and many other cases of police atrocities came forward. 


What Was Wayne’s Plan?

Wayne had marked the date of the attack in his family calendar and told his wife that he was planning to work overtime at night. He hired a car and drove to London, where he came across Sarah by chance. A woman testified that she saw Sarah being handcuffed by the police and thought that it was maybe because of a breach of COVID. Wayne had driven down to Dover and then moved Sarah from the hired car to his own vehicle. The police traced his vehicle at the aforementioned time in a very rural area in the north of Dover, where he had raped and killed her. He then went ahead to hide Sarah’s body below an industrial fridge, finally driving back home and even stopping in between to get coffee, acting completely rational even after a rape and a murder). He was then seen at a gas station, buying some oil, which he had used to burn Sarah’s body. 

Why Were Wayne’s Atrocities Overlooked By The Police?

According to Tom Little KC, a prosecutor at Old Bailey claimed that 2 years before joining the police Wayne was charged with indecent exposure. Six years before the murder, he was reported to have driven around naked from the waist down, which was captured on ANPR cameras. There were multiple questions raised as to how he managed to become a police officer after these allegations were raised against him. The situation in court had become very tense, and people were raising their fingers at the legal system of the country. Wayne was eventually sentenced to life in prison for using the confidence of common people as a policeman to rape and murder a woman. 


What Did Further Investigations On Wayne Bring Up?

Debaleena Dasgupta, the solicitor at the Center for Women’s Justice, highlighted the fact that police being involved in crimes was not something new. Later, PC David Carrick, another metropolitan police officer, was also arrested for having raped a woman last year. Right after gaining some confidence after watching Sarah’s case, she mustered the courage to report against Carrick. An investigation by metropolitan police brought out several other names of people who were involved in sexual offenses and other crimes. A list of such policemen were dismissed from their jobs and given a lifetime in jail. It was also revealed that Couzen had been linked to 14 offenses before the murder of Sarah, such as kidnapping, rape, indecent exposure, and possessing indecent pictures of children.

Final Words

Even the resolution of such a gruesome case could not cause a reduction in atrocities against women in the UK. The femicide census showed around 138 women being killed in the country (by men) and around 798,000 women being exposed to sexual assault. It is important for the government to take stricter measures to capture sexual offenders. The fact that a monster like Wayne Couzens had been given the authority to roam around free, even after several sexual offenses, is really scary! What makes it even scarier is the fact that he, being a police officer, was in charge of protecting people. This documentary brings to light the failure of the government in ridding the system of vicious criminals, no matter how hard they try. 

Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

Latest articles