ASHFORD BREAKING CLAPHAM DEAL KENT LONDON

PC Wayne Couzens who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard has been dismissed from the Met with immediate notice

Prime suspect Wayne Couzens was arrested at his home in Kent last night

Wayne Couzens, convicted of the murder, rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard, has been dismissed with immediate effect following the conclusion of an accelerated misconduct hearing.

On Friday, 16 July a hearing chaired by Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball found that the conduct of PC Couzens, 48, who was attached to the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct. He was dismissed without notice.

The allegations considered were that:

On Tuesday, 8 June PC Couzens appeared at the Central Criminal Court. At the hearing he pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard.

On Friday, 9 July PC Couzens appeared at the Central Criminal Court. At the hearing he pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard.

Following consultation with interested parties, including the Crown Prosecution Service, AC Ball decided the hearing should be held in private. She acknowledged that such hearings would normally be held in public and that there is heightened public interest in this particular case. However, the need for transparency in misconduct proceedings is significantly outweighed by the risk of interfering with criminal proceedings. Having carefully considered the representations put forward, AC Ball was persuaded that there remains a real risk of undermining the criminal case, despite PC Couzens’ guilty pleas.

However, AC Ball’s decision was published today.

AC Ball said: “Couzens has betrayed everything we, the police, stand for and following his guilty pleas and convictions I have dismissed him today.

“All of us in the Met are horrified, sickened and angered by this man’s crimes. Sarah was a young woman who had her life cruelly snatched away from her. I know she is sorely missed by so many people and our thoughts remain with her loved ones. We are so profoundly sorry.”

The MPS held an accelerated hearing as quickly as possible following Couzens’ guilty plea and conviction on Friday, 9 July, resulting in his dismissal today.