Wayne Couzens: Why did he kill Sarah Everard, who is his wife and where is he now?


Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard during lockdown 2021 and the crime left the British public devastated – but where is he now?

His crimes were made more appalling by the fact he was a serving police officer at the time he killed her.

The depraved killer also had a track record of indecent exposure…

Here’s everything you need to know about Wayne Couzens, why he killed Sarah Everard, and where he is now.

Who is Wayne Couzens and what did he do?

Wayne Couzens is a former British police officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard in March 2021.

He was born in Dover, and attended Castlemount Secondary School where reports say he was known as a bully.

At 17, Wayne began working at his father’s garage and continued working there until 2002 – when he was 30.

That year, he enlisted in the Territorial Army.

A former recruit described Wayne as “obsessed with internet pornography”.

Wayne subsequently joined the police force.

On the surface, he was a loving family man and a respected police officer…

But, in reality, he was a depraved pervert who consistently abused his power.

How old is he now and where was he born?

Wayne Couzens was born in December 1972 in Dover.

He is currently 49 years of age.

Where did Wayne Couzens live?

Wayne Couzens lived in Deal, Kent, with his wife and two children.

Neighbours spoke of their shock following Wayne Couzens’ arrest.

They told the Times that he was shirtless and handcuffed when he was led out of his house and taken away in a car.

Speaking as the house was searched by police, neighbours said they often saw or spoke to Wayne Couzens.

They described the motorbike enthusiast and his family as friendly and polite.

When did Wayne Couzens join the police?

Wayne Couzens joined Kent Police Service in December 2006.

However, he eventually left and joined the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, protecting the Dungeness Power Station.

After failing an annual fitness test in September 2018, he joined the Metropolitan Police in the Bromley area.

Wayne was a member of the diplomatic protection squad, protecting government officials and buildings.

The police force had not put Wayne through an enhanced vetting process as part of his recruitment.

Nor had Wayne gone through the mandatory two-year probation period with the Met before joining the PaDP (Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection).

His crimes led to a non-statutory inquiry headed by Dame Elish Angiolini over how he could have worked as a police officer for three separate forces despite his concerning behaviour.

When and where did he kidnap Sarah Everard?

On March 03 2021 – during a Covid-related lockdown – Wayne Couzens stalked 33-year-old Sarah Everard through London.

He abducted the marketing executive as she was walking home to the Brixton Hill area from a friend’s house near Clapham Common.

After tricking her into his car, he drove her to Kent.

The depraved criminal then raped her before strangling her to death.

He then burned her body inside a refrigerator.

Wayne subsequently abandoned her body in a builder’s bag in a pond in Hoad’s Wood, near Ashford, Kent.

Police found her body after a seven-day manhunt.

Sarah’s body was dumped approximately 100 metres from a plot of land that Wayne Couzens owned.

How did Wayne Couzens kidnap and kill Sarah Everard?

On February 28 2021, Wayne Couzens booked a white Vauxhall hire car in Dover.

This alone proves that his crimes were premeditated.

On March 03 2021, he completed a 12-hour shift at the US Embassy in London, and drove to collect the hire car.

At around 9pm that night, Everard had left a friend’s house on Leathwaite Road near Clapham Junction, west of Clapham Common.

She walked along the A205 South Circular Road across the common en route to her Brixton Hill home.

She spoke to her boyfriend Josh Lowth on her phone for about 15 minutes and agreed to meet him the next day.

Just after 9.30pm that night, Wayne Couzens saw Sarah walking home.

He had parked the hired Vauxhall on the pavement outside Poynders Court.

Wayne stopped Sarah Everard and showed her his police warrant card before handcuffing her and putting her in the back of his car.

The Metropolitan Police officer told Sarah he was arresting her for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

Later that evening, now in Dover, Wayne transferred Sarah to his own car – a SEAT.

He is believed to have raped Sarah in the area of Sibertswold.

At 02:34am, Wayne Couzens purchased drinks from a Dover petrol station.

Police believe he had already strangled Sarah to death by this point.

He used his police duty belt to kill her.

Wayne then burned and disposed of Sarah’s body.

Police eventually identified her through dental records.

How was the suspect caught?

During the police manhunt for Sarah Everard’s body, CCTV footage implicated Wayne Couzens.

Film taken from a London bus showed Wayne Couzens’ car driving away from where Sarah Everard was last seen.

Police arrested Wayne Couzens on suspicion of kidnapping, but released him.

They arrested him once again, this time on murder charges, following the discovery of Sarah Everard’s body.

CCTV cameras on passing buses twice captured Wayne Couzens on film.

Thanks to number plate recognition, the route of the car was retrospectively tracked using CCTV.

Luckily for the police, Wayne was as stupid as he looked.

Did Wayne Couzens know Sarah Everard?

Wayne Couzens did not know Sarah Everard before he killed her.

He and the victim were “complete strangers” and were unknown to each other prior to her abduction.

Wayne was prowling the streets intent on killing somebody and, sadly, Sarah became his target.

In fact, Wayne had been planning the attack for more than a month, and “hunting for a victim”.

His policeman’s badge and physical strength tragically sealed Sarah’s fate.

When did police arrest Wayne Couzens?

On March 09 2021, police arrested Wayne Couzens at his home in Deal on suspicion of kidnapping.

Around 40 minutes before he was arrested, Wayne Couzens had tried to wipe data from his mobile phone.

When interviewed, he told police he did not recognise Sarah Everard.

On 10 March, the day Sarah’s remains were discovered, police re-arrested Wayne Couzens on suspicion of murder.

They charged Wayne Couzens with Sarah Everard’s kidnapping and murder on March 12 2021.

Who helped Wayne Couzens?

On the night of Wayne Couzens’ arrest, a woman in her 30s was also arrested at the same address.

Police arrested her on suspicion of assisting an offender.

They subsequently released her without charge.

Who is Wayne’s wife and where is she?

Wayne Couzens was married to Ukrainian laboratory manager Olena, 39.

They met over the internet, and got married in 2006.

The pair had two children together.

Wayne and his wife of 16 years lived together in Deal, Kent.

Understandably, Wayne’s wife and children have the right to privacy.

They are innocent victims of Wayne’s crimes, too.

The family have kept a low-profile since Wayne’s arrest.

It is not known if Wayne’s wife Olena is planning to divorce him or not.

Olena Couzens reportedly logged onto a remote court feed to follow her husband’s sentencing.

Her twin sister Tetyana Obukhova, 39, said: “Olena learned about Sarah on the day when police came to their house.

“She didn’t have a clue why the police were on their doorstep.

“She was so shocked when he was arrested.

‘I don’t think she could ever imagine that he was able to do such things… to kidnap a woman.”

Ms Obukhova revealed that Olena is likely to remain in England to raise her two children.

She added: “She is still in the UK, I don’t know if she is planning to go to Ukraine.

“It’s hard to guess what she will decide for herself, she’s got a job, children are at school there.”

Another of Olena’s friends described her as “heartbroken”.

Who are Wayne’s parents and are they still alive?

Wayne Couzens is the son of garage owner Ray Couzens.

He also has a younger brother called David.

Members of Wayne’s family defended him following his arrest.

His mother-in-law, Nina Sukhoreba, spoke to the Telegraph.

Speaking from her home in Kirovograd, Ukraine, she said: “He could not do anything like this.

“He is a wonderful family man.

“This just sounds crazy to me.”

She added: “I talked to my daughter just yesterday and she didn’t tell me anything.

“She said Wayne was at work and everything was fine.”

Unnamed friends and family told press they are “absolutely staggered” by what Wayne did.

They believed he was a loving family man and trusted police officer.

What happened to Wayne Couzens in cells?

On March 11 2021, just hours after he was arrested, a warden found Wayne Couzens unconscious in his cell at Wandsworth police station.

It was a self-inflicted head injury.

He was briefly hospitalised the following day after a similar injury.

However, Wayne Couzens survived his suspected suicide attempt and was charged with kidnapping and murder the next day.

Police continued to monitor Wayne by CCTV in his cell.

Did Wayne Couzens plead guilty?

On June 18 2021, Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape.

He also took responsibility for her death.

However, pending medical reports into his mental health, Wayne Couzens did not enter a plea on the charge of murder.

On July 09 2021, Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to killing Sarah Everard.

He appeared in court via video link from Belmarsh Prison.

Can Wayne Couzens appeal?

The killer of Sarah Everard is challenging a sentencing order that said he should not be released from prison until he dies.

Wayne Couzens’ appeal is part of a major review by the Court of Appeal of whole-life orders, including arguments for their wider use.

His lawyer said his remorse and guilty plea should be taken into account.

The lawyer for Couzens, Jim Sturman QC, said the former Metropolitan Police officer accepted his crimes were “abhorrent”.

But he said the sentencing judge’s finding that he was not remorseful was “untenable”.

The lawyer said: “He was too ashamed to meet anyone’s eye.

“He was not brazen, staring down at the court in the way sometimes seen.”

Could Wayne Couzens have killed before? Is he a serial killer?

Police are investigating if Wayne Couzens could be responsible for more crimes – with some offences going back as far as 2015.

However, all of the known crimes are thought to be indecent exposure allegations.

A senior officer admitted that a check when Wayne Couzens transferred to the Metropolitan Police in 2018 was not done “correctly”.

It did not flag up that a vehicle associated with Couzens had been identified in a Kent Police investigation into an indecent exposure in 2015.

There is no evidence that proves Wayne Couzens had killed before.

Wayne Couzens’ sentencing

On September 30 2021, a judge sentenced Wayne Couzens to life without parole.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.

That means he will never be released.

Lord Justice Fulford justified the severity of the punishment because of Wayne’s job.

He said that Wayne Couzens used his position as a police officer to detain Sarah Everard which was the “vital factor which in my view makes the seriousness of this case exceptionally high”.

Fulford said his “warped, selfish and brutal” crimes had eroded confidence in the police.

Where is Wayne Couzens now?

Wayne Couzens is currently serving a life sentence in jail.

He will die in prison.

Wayne is imprisoned at HM Prison Frankland in County Durham.

Could Wayne Couzens ever be released?

Wayne Couzens will never be released.

He is now locked away until he dies.

He is currently appealing this decision.

What other crimes has Wayne Couzens been accused of?

On February 28 2021, a woman accused Wayne of flashing his genitals at her in a South London takeaway.

He was placed under investigation but was allowed to keep his job and remain on duty.

This was just three days before he murdered Sarah Everard on March 03 2021.

After the plea hearing, it was reported that Kent Police had received a report in 2015 of a man in a car in Dover, naked from the waist down.

It was believed there may have been enough information recorded in the Kent police system to have identified the man as Couzens, who was a serving police officer at the time.

In March 2022, police further charged Wayne Couzens with four counts of indecent exposure, related to alleged incidents in January and February 2021 – also while he was a police officer.

He appeared at the Old Bailey on May 11 2021.

Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens denied exposing himself.

He entered a not guilty plea at the Old Bailey via video-link from Frankland Prison in Durham.

He is accused of four counts of “intentionally exposing his genitals intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm and distress”.

The Old Bailey also heard how Wayne was accused in the past of an interest in “brutal sexual pornography”.


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