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Home Breaking Wayne Couzens has been sentenced for three exposure crimes carried out while he was a serving Metropolitan Police officer

Wayne Couzens has been sentenced for three exposure crimes carried out while he was a serving Metropolitan Police officer

Wayne Couzens has been sentenced for three exposure crimes carried out while he was a serving Metropolitan Police officer.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who leads the Specialist Crime Command team that also investigated the murder of Sarah Everard, said: “Those who came forward have shown strength and dignity in the face of Couzens’ attempts to scare and demean them for his own satisfaction.

“I would like to recognise their patience and cooperation throughout the case, and thank them for standing up to him. Without them justice could not have been served.”

DAC Stuart Cundy, who leads the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “Today’s sentencing reflects the impact these awful crimes committed by Couzens’ has had on the women he targeted.

“I have read the victim impact statements and it is clear to me the hurt and trauma that he inflicted on them. It is their courage that has been crucial in bringing him to justice and I am sorry for what they have gone through.

“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.

“The Met’s response to these crimes has been independently investigated. One officer is due to face a misconduct hearing and the events surrounding the death of Sarah Everard will be examined by the Coroner.

“The fact he did this whilst serving as a police officer has brought shame on all us who swore to protect the communities we serve.

“My thoughts today are with all those targeted by Wayne Couzens and Sarah Everard’s family.”

On February 28 2021, the Met received an allegation of exposure at a location in Swanley, Kent. This was recorded and passed to a local officer to investigate. 

By the time of Sarah Everard’s kidnap, on 3 March 2021, the investigation was not concluded and Couzens’ occupation had not been identified. 

The Met’s Specialist Crime team that investigated Sarah’s murder took on the exposure investigation, given its links to Couzens. 

Through a combination of number plate recognition, financial, and telephone records work, and speaking with victims, the team built a case against Couzens. They passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service who authorised charges. 

Couzens pleaded guilty to the following charges:

Exposure on 13 November 2020 in the Deal, Kent area. 

Exposure on 14 February 2021 in the Swanley, Kent area. 

Exposure on 27 February 2021 in the Swanley, Kent area. 

While the 2020 exposure was reported to Kent Police at the time of the offence, the victim contacted the police following Sarah Everard’s murder and the Met’s Specialist Crime Command team took primacy. 

For these he was sentenced to 19 months, six months, and six months to run concurrently making it a total of 19 months.

Three charges of exposure were ordered to lie on file. They were:

Exposure on 9 June 2015 in the Dover, Kent area. 

Exposure between 22 January 2021 and 1 February 2021 in the Swanley, Kent area. 

Exposure between 30 January 2021 and 6 February 2021 in the Swanley, Kent area. 

By the time of Sarah Everard’s kidnap the investigation into the February 2021 exposure allegations was not concluded and Couzens’ occupation had not been identified.

The progress of that investigation was voluntarily referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The IOPC investigation concluded that a PC, who was attached to the South Area Command Unit, should face a gross misconduct hearing to answer allegations they breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of duties and responsibilities and honesty and integrity. The officer has since resigned and left the MPS in 2022.

Another officer, a sergeant, also attached to the South Area Command Unit, was found to have no case to answer regarding their supervision of the exposure investigations.

Following consultation with the CPS, this hearing was not heard prior to the conclusion of criminal proceedings in order to preserve the integrity of the trial. Now that criminal proceedings have concluded, the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will seek to progress the hearing as soon as possible.

Given the hearing and allegations are yet to be heard, we are unable to provide further details at this stage.

We expect the full circumstances of Sarah’s murder to be considered by the Coroner. While we appreciate there are many questions, the MPS does not wish to say or publish anything at this time that could impact on that process.

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