The kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard in London in March has sparked outrage and a national debate about violence against women in the United Kingdom.
On Thursday, Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer at the time of the incident, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after admitting her abduction and killing.
Here is a timeline leading up to his sentencing, as outlined by PA Media:
Before the abduction
– 2002: Wayne Couzens joins the Kent Special Constabulary, a part-time volunteer section of the police force.
– 2011: Couzens joins the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).
– 2015: Kent Police allegedly fail to investigate an incident of indecent exposure linked to Couzens.
– September 2018: Couzens transfers to London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
– 2019: He and his wife buy a small area of woodland in Ashford in Kent.
– February 2020: Couzens moves to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command to patrol diplomatic premises.
– February 2021: He is linked to two allegations of indecent exposure, which the Metropolitan Police allegedly failed to investigate.
– February 28: Couzens books a white Vauxhall Astra from a car hire firm in Dover, Kent.
The day Everard goes missing
– March 3: 4:45 p.m.: Couzens collects the hire car.
– 9 p.m.: Everard leaves her friend’s house in Clapham Junction in south London to walk about 2.5 miles home.
– 9:13 p.m.: She phones her boyfriend for just over 14 minutes.
– 9:15 p.m.: Everard is captured alone on CCTV.
– 9:35 p.m.: A bus camera captures two figures beside a white Vauxhall Astra parked on the sidewalk with hazard lights flashing.
– 9:38 p.m.: Another bus camera captures the same vehicle with the two front car doors open.
– 11:38 p.m.: Couzens transfers Everard to his own car in Dover and drives towards a secluded rural area where she is raped and murdered.
– 2:31 a.m.: Having transferred Everard to his own car, a Seat, Couzens stops at a service station in Dover to buy drinks. Everard is dead by this point.
– 3:21 a.m.: The car passes a CCTV camera near Hoad’s Wood, where Everard’s body is dumped. He visits the site twice, leaving just before dawn.
– 8:30 a.m.: The hire car is returned.
– March 4: Everard’s boyfriend Josh Lowth reports her missing.
– March 5: The case is escalated and the Specialist Crime Unit becomes involved.
Covering his tracks
– March 5: Couzens, due to be off work until March 8, tells his employer he is suffering with stress. He buys gas and burns Everard’s body and possessions inside a fridge at Hoad’s Wood. He transfers the remains to a nearby pond in two green rubble bags.
– March 6: He emails his supervisor to say he no longer wants to carry a firearm.
– March 7: Couzens takes his wife and children on a family trip to the woods where he burned Everard’s body.
– March 8: The officer is due to return to work but reports in sick.
– March 9: Couzens’ phone is wiped of all data.
– March 9: Couzens arrested at his home in Deal, Kent.
– March 10: Specialist police dogs discover a body in a pond close to the land owned by Couzens.
– March 11: He answers “no comment” in formal interviews.
– March 12: Couzens is charged.
– July 9: Couzens pleads guilty to murder when he appears at the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh high security jail.
– September 30: Couzens sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.