The Guardian reports:
Wayne Couzens has been ordered to spend the rest of his life in jail after a judge said his crimes were as serious as a terrorist atrocity because he abused his powers as a police officer to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard.
The former Metropolitan police officer used his warrant card and handcuffs to get Everard, 33, into his car as she walked home in south London at the height of Covid lockdown restrictions in March. The restrictions were his probable pretext for stopping her.
Couzens drove her to Kent before strangling her with his police belt and burning her body. Lord Justice Fulford told Couzens his crimes had damaged the victim’s loved ones and wider society, shattering the Everard family, eroding faith in the police, betraying his wife and two children and stoking the fear women felt.
It was a hideous crime, and an appalling abuse of power.
What earned Couzens a whole-life tariff, said the judge, was the abuse of his position to commit his crimes, meaning the court would treat it as seriously as a murder carried out for a terrorist motive. The sentence means Couzens will die in jail.
Good. I wish we would see more life without parole sentences in NZ.