The “monster” Wayne Couzens, who murdered Sarah Everard, had crafted a veneer of respectability in both his personal and professional life but, in private, led a warped life
Wayne Couzens, sentenced to a whole-life term on Thursday for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, was a sexual deviant – and a police officer.
The evil killer, 48, had crafted a veneer of respectability in both his personal and professional life, with some colleagues believing he was a family man.
But, in private, Couzens – described as a “monster” by Ms Everard’s devastated family – led a warped life, with a court told he was attracted to hardcore porn.
The former officer has also admitted using prostitutes, was suspected of taking body-building steroids and joked about being into “kinky stuff”.
And, perhaps most shockingly, it emerged after the death of Ms Everard, 33, that Couzens allegedly flashed two women at a McDonald’s.
The incident is said to have happened at a restaurant in Swanley, Kent just three days before he committed his heinous crimes – but was seemingly missed by police.
Couzens has also been linked to an allegation of indecent exposure that took place six years ago, which, like the McDonald’s incident, is now the focus of a watchdog probe.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct previously confirmed it is looking into the conduct of both Kent Police and the Metropolitan Police over the matters.
But questions remain as to how officers from both forces missed the warning signs the would-be killer gave off – especially as some co-workers dubbed him “The Rapist”.
Couzens was born in Dover in 1972 and joined his younger brother in the family business – a car body shop and repair garage – after leaving school.
But it has been said that he always had a hankering to join the police and, from the mid to late 2000s, volunteered as a special sergeant in Kent.
He was then accepted into the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where he spent seven years with an unblemished record before moving to the Metropolitan Police.
After winning a role in London, he was first posted to Bromley police station, in the south-east of the capital, where he was part of a response team.
Then, in February last year, he joined the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command as a firearms officer in West Brompton, to the west of the city.
But, while his career was taking off, in his personal life he was beginning to show behaviours consistent with the vile criminal lurking beneath.
Couzens was married to a Ukrainian wife, whom he was said to have met online, and appeared to be part of a “loving family” with two children, it was said.
But this was a facade, with it revealed after his sick crimes that he paid prostitutes for sex and had set up a fake account on a dating site.
Couzens was also debt-ridden, owing just under £29,000 over a number of payment plans and holding cards that were regularly overdrawn.
And he had a lust for “brutal, sexual pornography”, the court was told – and would happily make jokes about being into “kinky stuff” when asked about his police belt.
His links to prostitution would later serve as a flimsy explanation when he was detained over the death of Ms Everard, when he claimed he had been coerced by a gang.
Couzens initially told the arresting officers that a group of Eastern European men had demanded he deliver them “another girl” after he underpaid a sex worker.
In his bizarre tale, he said that he picked up Ms Everard and delivered her to the traffickers – who did not exist – unharmed to save his family.
He invented a description of the men and showed detectives a rough location of where he met them on a map, the court was told – but it was all a lie.
Incontrovertible CCTV and forensic evidence linking Couzens to the devastating fate of Ms Everard had him bang to rights – and means he will die in prison.