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Sarah Everard murder: British police officer given whole-life jail term for kidnap, rape, murder

Picture courtesy: AFP

A British Police officer who falsely arrested a woman for breaking coronavirus restrictions, then kidnapped, raped and murdered her, was given a rare whole-life jail term on Thursday.

Ahead of sentencing Couzens, 48, the judge said the case was "devastating, tragic and wholly brutal".

Judge Adrian Fulford told Wayne Couzens, 48, his offences were "grotesque", after he snatched Sarah Everard off the streets of south London in March this year.

Everard's disappearance sparked one of Britain's most high-profile missing persons investigations and protests calling for better safety for women in public spaces.

Ms Everard's family said they were relieved by the fact Couzens would die in jail.

Couzens, who served with the elite diplomatic protection unit of London's Metropolitan Police, admitted kidnapping, rape and murder at a hearing in July and was sacked.

When Parliament abolished the death penalty more than 50 years ago, it promised the British people that the worst of the very worst offenders would be locked up in jail for the rest of their lives.

Since then a series of complex rules for judges has evolved in order for a "whole-life order" (WLO) to be imposed.

And that is why the law allowed the judge to order Couzens will never be released.

The high-profile case refocused attention on how the police handle complaints of violence against women and girls in Britain.

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