Dressed in plain clothes and driving a hire car, the serving police officer had used his warrant card and handcuffs to falsely arrest the marketing executive for breaching COVID-19 orders while she was walking home from a friend's place on the evening of March 3. He then drove her to a secluded woodland area near Kent where he raped her, murdered her, and set her body alight.
A senior investigator on Sarah Everard’s case, former DCI Simon Harding, said police officers don't view Couzens as one of them, that "he doesn’t hold the same values as a police officer. He doesn’t have the same personality as we do". Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick echoed that sentiment, saying "everyone in policing feels betrayed".
Watch former DCI Simon Harding talk about the case. Post continues after video.
But while Couzens' crime may be a particularly brutal anomaly, it's apparent that police forces in London and beyond are anything but immune from sexism, misogyny and even sexual violence within their ranks.
Just this week, a probe by British news outlet The Sunday Mirror found that 26 of Wayne Couzens' colleagues from the 'Met' had committed sex offences over the past five years.
Among their crimes were rape, indecent exposure and possession of indecent images of children.
Couzens himself had been the subject of an indecent exposure allegation in 2015, and another just three days prior to killing Everard. In the more recent case, it was alleged he was involved in a 'flashing' incident at a McDonalds. The police handling of those claims is now under investigation.
Other examples of concerning behaviour have emerged that went unchecked.