For the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Londoner Sarah Everard after taking her from the streets in March 2021, Wayne Couzens, 50, is already receiving an unusual whole-life term.
Following the sentencing, the Metropolitan Police of London issued an apology for failing to identify the indecent exposure offences before Everard’s death.
The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner, Stuart Cundy, expressed regret that “Like so many, I wish he had been arrested for these offences before he went on to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard and I am sorry that he wasn’t.”
At the hearing on Monday, Couzens was seen through a video link from prison. According to testimony given in court, he was meant to be working from home but, in November 2020, he stepped into the path of a female bicycle while masturbating in a wooded area of Kent.
One of his victims, a female biker, told the court, “Four months after you exposed yourself to me, you raped and murdered an innocent woman.
“There were opportunities to identify you and they were not taken. I did not feel that, when I reported your crime, it was taken as seriously as I felt that it should have been the horror of what happened will remain with me for the rest of my life,” she stated.
As Couzens exposed himself to her on a country road in Kent, southeast England, the rider was unable to provide authorities with the registration number of his automobile.
Yet a fortnight before he attacked Everard, he once more exposed himself to female workers at a fast food restaurant, and CCTV cameras recorded all the specifics of the car.
Assaulting women and getting away with it had further fueled “a terrible sense in his invincibility,” judge Juliet May said in her sentencing.
Another victim sobbed in court as she spoke about her “survivor’s guilt” thoughts.