Britain’s most hated police officer, Wayne Couzens, will not lose his full pension for the murder of Sarah Everard for allegedly violating his human rights, it was revealed today.
Couzens, who received life without parole for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah, 33, will keep one-third of his monthly retirement allowance.
Under Department of the Interior guidelines, a maximum of 65 percent of a pension may be forfeited – in Couzens’ case, this percentage refers to the amount the taxpayer pays through the police.
But he retains his own contributions, roughly the remaining 35 percent, and to remove them would be a “clear infringement of the officer’s rights” under the European Convention on Human Rights, judges have previously ruled.
Police forces across the country are facing calls to recheck all officers after the string of blunders that allowed Wayne Couzens to abuse his role in Sarah Everard’s murder.
A former Met Police superintendent yesterday warned that other people from ‘questionable backgrounds’ may have slipped through flawed control procedures.
Over the weekend, allegations surfaced that married Couzens had taken an escort to a colleague’s wedding anniversary party at the Hilton hotel in Maidstone, Kent, where he joked about paying for sex.
The former firearms officer was once referred to as “the rapist” by colleagues. During his trial at Old Bailey, it was revealed that Couzens was “attracted to brutal sexual pornography” as early as 2002.
Couzens, here grinning in uniform, was given life without parole for murdering Sarah Everard
The Beast, 48, kidnapped her before raping and killing her before burning her body
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick Is Under Fire For Couzens’ Crimes
Parm Sandhu, a former Met Superintendent who worked for the force for nearly three decades, said Scotland Yard had fostered a culture in which Couzens “had to thrive.”
Miss Sandhu told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “Anyone who is now working in the police force should be re-screened. Those people who all passed the inspection twenty years ago, thirty years ago.’
She also said a WhatsApp group in which the killer and colleagues from three forces allegedly shared abusive messages was a sign of attitudes that could be harmful to women.
Last week, it emerged that two Met officers are still on duty after exchanging highly abusive messages with Couzens, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of Ms. Everard.
Lord Stevens, who served as Met Commissioner between 2000 and 2005, has described the Corps’ vetting procedures as “not fit for purpose.” But Boris Johnson yesterday rejected calls for a public inquiry amid mounting pressure on Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to explain how police failed to address the killer’s past. After a wave of criticism over the police’s handling of the scandal, the prime minister asked women to trust police officers he said were “overwhelmingly reliable.”
He said an internal investigation by Scotland Yard and separate investigations by the Independent Office for Police Conduct were sufficient.
Johnson told the BBC show Andrew Marr: ‘My view is that the police are doing – overwhelmingly – a great job and what I want is for the public, and especially women, girls and young women, women of all ages, to trust the police. .’
But Priti Patel will “watch very closely” to ensure Dame Cressida improves the police investigation, a minister warned last night. Attorney General Alex Chalk said: “A lot of people will be really concerned about the way Wayne Couzens slipped through the net and will definitely want to be pleased when things are about to get better.”
Marketing manager Sarah Everard, 33, was snatched off the street in Clapham on March 3.
Miss Everard’s family released this photo of her after Couzens was in prison for killing her
He told a fringe event at the Tory conference that it was “absolutely good” that the Metropolitan Police needed to improve vetting.
But Donna Jones, the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said re-screening tens of thousands of officers was “not a wise use of public money.”
She told LBC: “We need to make sure we have the right processes in place so that the police act quickly if problems are reported.”
Couzens kidnapped Miss Everard after using his police warrant card to make a “false arrest” on March 3, handcuffing her and claiming she was breaking Covid rules.
With Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave has admitted vetting procedures were not properly followed when Couzens joined the police in 2018.
But he said Couzens would still have been accepted if his ties to an indecent exposure incident in 2015 were known, because Kent police were unable to identify him as responsible.
Couzens’ vehicle was reported to police, where he was serving as a special agent, after a male driver drove around naked from the waist down.
But it was decided that the incident warranted no further action and the driver was not identified.
Couzens’ name was also brought up in a sex offense days before Ms Everard’s death, after two female employees of a McDonald’s in Swanley, Kent, said they had been flashed by a driver on February 7 and 27.
CCTV evidence showing Couzens’ license plate had listed his name as a suspect on the Met’s systems.
But officers were unable to identify him as a duty officer and further investigations were not made until after Miss Everard’s disappearance.
Ian Blair, who succeeded Lord Stevens as head of Scotland Yard, said “an absolute forensic” investigation was needed, similar to the Stephen Lawrence investigation led by Lord Macpherson.
He called for “an independent investigation to try and discover the processes that allowed this man – who is clearly a manipulative, murderous maniac – to become a police officer.”
Patsy Stevenson, an activist arrested during a March vigil for Miss Everard, said the Met had failed to address “systemic problems within their force.”