Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens was nicknamed 'The Rapist' by ex-colleagues as he gave women the creeps
POLICE were last night facing questions over how they failed to deal with the monster in their ranks after Met gun cop Wayne Couzens admitted murdering Sarah Everard.
Experts said a catalogue of errors allowed 48-year-old Couzens to randomly kidnap, rape and murder the 33-year-old marketing exec.
Married dad-of-two Couzens went under the radar despite being:
- LINKED to an indecent exposure in Dover, Kent, in June 2015, in which a male motorist reported him for driving naked from the waist down. It was not investigated;
- SUSPECTED of flashing twice within a few hours at a McDonald’s in Swanley, Kent, on February 28, three days before snatching Sarah. Despite CCTV and vehicle reg details being given to police, again it was not investigated;
- DISTURBINGLY nicknamed The Rapist by colleagues in the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where he worked before the Metropolitan Police, as he gave women the creeps.
The Sun can reveal several women have made historic accusations of harassment since his arrest.
Couzens — the first serving officer to be convicted of the sex murder of a stranger — also did not serve his full two years on probation in September 2018.
He was also not given enhanced vetting when he joined the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit in February 2020.
At the time, the Met were desperate for extra armed cops following the Paris terror attacks in 2017.
Former Met detective chief inspector Mick Neville said: “There is a catalogue of failures. He could have been found out as a sexual deviant.
“If those had been done properly, he would have been drummed out of the police and it is likely Sarah would still be alive.”
The revelations heap fresh pressure on Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who has already faced a string of demands to resign over the botched handling of historic sex crime cases and a string of other policing controversies.
In addition, the Independent Office for Police Conduct yesterday announced that 12 officers from different forces are being investigated for misconduct allegations over the case.
Two Met cops are being probed over alleged failures to investigate the flashing incident.
Three officers are being quizzed after a rookie Met cop guarding the scene where Sarah’s body was found shared a vile meme on WhatsApp.
Yesterday Dame Cressida said she was “so sorry” for her family.
She added: “All of us in the Met are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s truly dreadful crimes. Everyone in policing feels betrayed.”
Couzens hung his head as he pleaded guilty yesterday at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh jail.
Sarah’s family and Dame Cressida were in court as Lord Justice Fulford said he would be considering a whole life tariff.
Couzens’ Ukraine-born wife Elena watched by remote link.
Defending QC Jim Sturman said Couzens’ admission “represents a truly guilty plea and remorse for what he did.”
Couzens, seen in new police handout picture, below, last month admitted the kidnap and rape of Sarah and accepted responsibility for killing her on March 3.
He was expected to try to claim manslaughter through diminished responsibility, depending on psychiatric interviews.
Sarah was strangled after being abducted while walking home from a friend’s in Clapham, South London. Couzens has yet to provide any motive.
Her remains were found a week later, 50 miles away in a builder’s bag deposited in a stream at a wood near Ashford, Kent, 100 yards from where Couzens owned a plot of land. Prosecutor Tom Little, QC, said: “Before the defendant kidnapped Sarah Everard, he had not previously met her. They were total strangers to each other.”
It can now be disclosed how Couzens carefully planned the abduction.
Three days earlier, he booked a Vauxhall Astra hire car and bought self-adhesive carpet protector to guard against forensic evidence.
After a 12-hour guard shift at the US Embassy to 7am he returned home to Deal, Kent. At 4.45pm he collected the hire car from Enterprise in Dover and drove to London.
At 9pm Sarah was walking home to her flat in Brixton, 2½ miles away. At 9.15pm she called her boyfriend Josh Lowth on her mobile.
Prosecutor Zoe Martin told Couzens’ first magistrates hearing: “That call finished at 9.28pm and there has been no further activity on her phone since then.”
At 9.35pm a bus camera captured two figures standing beside an Astra with its hazard lights flashing.
At 9.38pm another bus camera captured the vehicle with the front doors open. It is thought that Couzens used his warrant card to entice Sarah into the car by offering her a lift home.
Cameras followed the car to Tilmanstone, near Couzens’ home.
It was then discovered that a phone number belonging to Couzens and provided to the rental firm was on his personnel file with the Met.
After his arrest, he initially told detectives that he did not recognise Sarah.
He then claimed he and his family were being threatened by Eastern European gangsters he owed money to for failing to pay for prostitutes he used. Couzens claimed the mobsters forced him to kidnap a woman, and said she was alive when he handed her over at a layby. But cops soon discovered his plot of land and Sarah’s body was found the next day.
Further checks revealed that on March 6 he ordered tarpaulin and a bungee cargo net. These were shipped to him on March 7.
And at 2pm on March 5 Couzens was seen on CCTV at B&Q in Dover purchasing two green rubble bags for £9.94.
Lord Justice Fulford adjourned the case for a two-day sentencing hearing from September 29 when the full evidence will be opened.
He said: “This has been a mammoth investigation which has produced some very significant results in terms of being able to understand what happened.”
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