49-year-old Couzens pleaded guilty to her murder in July and was handed a rare whole-life sentence due to the “exceptionally high severity” of the crime.
Wayne Couzens abducted Sarah Everard in South London on the pretence of arresting her, before raping and murdering her. He then disposed of her body by setting fire to her and dumping her remains in a pond.
He was working within the diplomatic and parliamentary protection unit of the police at the time he carried out the crime.
The judge, Lord Justice Fulford, described the former policeman’s crime as “devastating, tragic and wholly brutal”.
He continued: “The misuse of a police officer’s role such as occurred in this case in order to kidnap, rape and murder a lone victim is of equal seriousness as a murder for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.”
Now, Sarah Everard’s killer is challenging his sentence as part of a review by the Court of Appeal that took place this week.
Couzens’ lawyer is arguing that he deserves “decades in jail” but not a whole-life sentence, saying that his remorse and guilty plea should be taken into account.
Tom Little QC, representing the Attorney General’s Office and Crown Prosecution Service, responded that “A police officer is in a uniquely powerful position”, and went on to conclude that the crime was of the “utmost seriousness”.
“The judge was entitled to form the view that he did in relation to a lack of genuine contrition,” he added. “The whole-life order was the right sentence to impose in this wholly exceptional case.”
We will continue to update this story.