EXCLUSIVE: Killer cop ‘must have’ struck BEFORE: Criminologists suggest Wayne Couzens showed ‘experienced behaviour’ by snatching Sarah Everard off street then torching body – and police ‘must be looking into his links to other crimes’
- Wayne Couzens, 48, showed so much experience in his awful crimes experts say he must have acted before
- The rapist officer will today learn if he will die in jail serving a whole life sentence for killing Sarah Everard
- Footage shows Miss Everard on the pavement with depraved Met officer moments before he kidnapped her
- Couzens cuffed hands behind her back, leaving her incapable of undoing the seatbelt he strapped around her
- Old Bailey heard harrowing details of serving police officer’s deceit and Miss Everard’s horrific final hours
- Marketing executive was raped, murdered and burned in pre-meditated attack that was weeks in planning
Wayne Couzens should be considered over unsolved murders and crimes, experts urged today as they said ‘everything suggested he had done this before’.
The killer rapist, 48, who staged a fake arrest to trap Sarah Everard in the back of his car was facing jail for life this morning.
But experts say the confidence in which he carried out the abduction shows he had done it before.
And the way he disposed of Miss Everard’s body by burning her remains signalled ‘experienced behaviour’.
Criminologist Professor David Wilson told MailOnline: ‘I am absolutely convinced he is being looked at for other things.
‘Everything revealed yesterday suggests Couzens has behaved in this way before.
‘It suggests to me this wasn’t his first offence. Nobody moves into this type of behaviour overnight – they are a long time in the making.
‘Nothing would surprise me about Wayne Couzens and Wayne Couzens’ previous offending.
‘I would treat him in the same category as John Worboys – because of the circumstances of him using his occupation to target lone women.
‘He was engaged in a lot of planning. One of the riskiest things was he drove her 80 miles with a handcuffed woman in the back of his car.
‘The fact he did suggests he thought he was safe and that must come from the fact he has done something similar in the past.
Wayne Couzens, 48, will today learn if he will die in jail serving a whole life sentence for killing Sarah Everard in March
This is the moment Couzens staged his fake arrest to lure Sarah Everard into being handcuffed and put in the back of his car
The two cars Couzens used for the absuction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard showed his confidence in his offending
This fridge was used by Couzens to burn Miss Everard’s clothing and body just yards from his own plot of land
‘What was unusual – and suggests his experience – was his disposal of the body.
‘Burning someone’s remains is a good way to get rid of it. All of that suggests this is experienced behaviour.’
Depraved Couzens used his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card and handcuffs to snatch Miss Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.
Couzens, a firearms officer, had clocked off from a 12-hour shift at the American embassy that morning but in the time leading up to the kidnap had cruised the capital looking for a victim.
He posed as an undercover officer to stage the fake arrest before driving to a secluded rural area near Dover in Kent, where he parked up and raped Miss Everard.
Prof Wilson added: ‘The detail that were released were all about behaviour and they were practiced and controlled.
‘They were quite obviously related to his sexual fantasies. In my experience nobody makes their sexual fantasies a reality overnight.
‘The fake arrest may well be a signifier in his behaviour. He is quite clearly interested in uniform, sadism and masochism, control and handcuffs.
‘His nickname was apparently “the rapist” at work, he had obviously other complaints of indecent exposures to women previous to Sarah’s murder.
‘We have to take these indecent exposures as a very serious indicator of abhorrent sexual behaviour.
‘He is 48 years old, this is not a 25-year-old who is at the beginning of his offending career.
‘This is somebody who is mature who has had a lot of life experience and that is an indicator his past life needs looking into.’
Criminal psychologist Dr David Holmes agreed police should appeal for any more potential victims of Couzens.
He told MailOnline: ‘This is unlikely to be his first offence, he has just not been caught before. I think some kind of public appeal would be a good idea.
‘This kind of behaviour does not suddenly emerge. The cold, calm way he did it would say this is something that was part of his repertoire.
‘It may be his first killing but I would have thought he had toyed around with this and possibly have a long litany of encounters where he has used his ability to have power over others.
‘This pretty unlikely to be the first time he has done something of this nature.’
Married father-of-two Couzens burned Miss Everard’s body in a refrigerator in an area of woodland he owned in Hoads Wood, near Ashford, before dumping the remains in a nearby pond.
Today Lord Justice Fulford will decide whether the murderer will die behind bars serving a whole life sentence.
The highly-respected lawlord will announce his judgement after hearing mitigation from Couzens’ lawyer, which is expected to last just 30 minutes.
He will take into account the devastating victim impact statements read yesterday by Miss Everard’s family.
They condemned her killer as a “monster” as he sat quaking in the dock of the Old Bailey with his head bowed for the start of his sentencing.
Her father Jeremy told him: ‘No punishment that you receive will ever compare to the pain and torture that you have inflicted on us.’
Susan Everard, Miss Everard’s mother, told Couzens he disgusted her and she was haunted by what he did to her daughter
Prosecutor Tom Little QC suggested the case was so exceptional and unprecedented that it could warrant a whole life order.
Yesterday’s hearing saw the chilling moment Miss Everard was handcuffed in the back of killer cop Couzens’ hire car before he drove her 80 miles to her death.
Footage taken from a passing dashcam shows the 33-year-old stood on a pavement on Poynders Road in Clapham as Couzens, who was wearing handcuffs on his police belt, speaks to her.
The twisted Met Protection Officer can be seen producing his warrant card as he claimed Miss Everard had breached Covid restrictions.
Couzens then cuffed her hands behind her back, leaving her incapable of undoing the seatbelt he strapped around her after ordering her into the back of his rental car.
She was then driven for two hours to Dover where he forcibly moved her from the hire car into his own black Seat before continuing along remote back roads to Hoad’s Wood where he raped her, strangled her with his belt and stashed her body in a fridge.
Quizzed by police, Couzens (pictured in handcuffs) lied that he had been ‘leant on’ by an Eastern European gang who threatened to harm his family if he did not agree to pick up a woman
The deranged Met Protection Officer, who was wearing his police belt containing handcuffs, can be seen producing his warrant card as he claimed Miss Everard had breached Covid restrictions
CCTV footage of Miss Everard captured earlier on the night she was kidnapped in March, sparking a nationwide hunt
Whole life orders: the sentences that see killers die behind bars
Whole life orders are the most severe punishment available in the UK criminal justice system for those who commit the most serious crimes.
If handed such a sentence, Wayne Couzens will join a string of some of the country’s most dangerous offenders who are expected to die behind bars.
There are 60 criminals serving whole life orders, according to Government figures to the end of June.
They will never be considered for release, unless there are exceptional compassionate grounds to warrant it.
Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield is thought to be the only criminal in UK legal history to be serving two whole life orders – for her murder, the killings of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange as well as the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.
Other notorious criminals serving whole life orders include: Gloucester serial killer Rose West, Michael Adebolajo, one of Fusilier Lee Rigby’s killers; Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April Jones in Wales; neo-Nazi Thomas Mair who killed MP Jo Cox; Grindr serial killer Stephen Port; and most recently the Reading terror attacker Khairi Saadallah, who murdered three men in a park.
Before they died, Moors murderer Ian Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley, Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, and doctor Harold Shipman – thought to be one of Britain’s most prolific serial killers – were also among those serving whole life orders.
In the past, home secretaries could issue whole life tariffs and these are now determined by judges.
Under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, the Government is trying to expand the use of whole life orders for premeditated murder of a child.
The reforms would also allow judges to hand out the maximum sentence to 18 to 20-year-olds in exceptional cases, such as for acts of terrorism leading to mass loss of life.
We will also give judges the discretion, in exceptional circumstances, to impose a whole life order on offenders aged 18 or over but under 21.
Miss Everard’s devastated family listened from the public gallery as the Old Bailey heard harrowing details of how Couzens took her to a rural area and raped her, before later being seen buying Lucozade and other drinks from BP station with her body in boot, after she was believed to have been murdered.
Distressing details of the timeline suggest Miss Everard could have been alive for more than four hours in the back of Couzens’ car. She was snatched off the street by 9.30pm and when the killer pulled into the garage at 2.30am, Sarah is thought to have been in his boot, already dead.
The court heard he confessed to a psychiatrist that he had strangled Miss Everard with his belt, and the prosecution said her injuries were consistent with ones that would have been caused by his police belt.
Couzens – who had prepared for the abduction by buying a rental car and a sheet of film from Amazon – hid her body inside a fridge in a patch of rubbish-strewn woodland before torching it.
Footage released by police showed the moment Couzens rented the car he would go on to use to prowl the streets of London for almost two hours before picking up Miss Everard.
The CCTV clip showed Couzens calmly laughing with a female attendant. He joked ‘you’ve put me on the spot’ while trying to remember his phone number as she took his details.
He went on to visit a Tesco store in west London to buy a pack of 14 hairbands just an hour before Miss Everard was abducted on March 3, before making further trips to a B&Q two days after Miss Everard is believed to have been killed. He also visited a Homebase in Folkestone on the morning of Monday, March 8.
CCTV footage showed the moment he went on to visit a BP garage in Dover on Friday, March 5 to buy and fill a petrol canister – believed to have been used to burn Miss Everard’s body.
Just days after the murder, the father-of-two took his wife and children on a family trip and allowed the youngsters to play near a pond where he had dumped Miss Everard’s remains, the prosecution said.
Couzens was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, after police connected him to a hire car he used to abduct Ms Everard, whose remains were found by police dogs on March 10.
Taken to Wandsworth Police Station, he repeatedly tried to self-harm by banging his head on a sink and running into a wall, and was put under constant watch before appearing in court.
He was sacked from the force after he pleaded guilty in July to her kidnap, rape and murder.
Before the attack members of the public had noticed Couzens wearing his police belt when not on duty, with a pair of handcuffs and black pepper spray holder.
‘This is the type of equipment that it can be inferred that the defendant was wearing when he kidnapped Sarah Everard,’ said Mr Little.
Couzens sitting in the front seat of the hire car, after he falsely ‘arrested’ Miss Everard (who is seated in the back) outside Poynders Court on Poynders Road, Clapham
Miss Everard queued at Sainsbury’s with a bottle of red wine as she headed to see a friend for dinner after work
CCTV taken at 5.52pm on March 3 showed Miss Everard walking along Craster Road in Brixton, south London
Police search woodland near to where Miss Everard’s body was found. Couzens burned her body and dumped it in a pond
He continued: ‘It was not unusual for officers on PaDP to take personal protective and other equipment (including body armour and handcuffs) home with them from the Lillie Road base – they were required to undertake frequent training, at a number of different locations, to which they would travel directly.
‘For convenience, they would often take home the kit needed.
‘Two members of the public had independently noticed seeing the defendant when he was not on duty wearing his Police belt with handcuffs and a rectangular black pouch (similar to a pepper spray holder) attached to it (whilst out in Deal walking his dog; and when attending a local computer hardware repair shop in the town).
‘This is the type of equipment that it can be inferred that the defendant was wearing when he kidnapped Sarah Everard.
‘It is instructive that in relation to the incident in the repair shop that when the owner asked the defendant jokingly if he was ‘into kinky stuff’ when he referred to the handcuffs that were visible on the defendant’s belt. The defendant said ‘I am an undercover police officer’.
‘As he said that the defendant chuckled but then opened his jacket a little more to reveal his Police issue kit.’
On Wednesday, Ms Everard’s parents and sister Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick also attended court to hear how one of her own officers had abused his position to carry out his crimes, which shocked the nation.
In a statement before the sentencing started, the Met said: ‘We are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes which betray everything we stand for.
‘Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and her many friends. It is not possible for us to imagine what they are going through.
‘We recognise his actions raise many questions and concerns but we will not be commenting further until the hearing is complete.’
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