Met Police defends decision to prosecute Wayne Couzens for indecent exposure

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The Metropolitan Police has defended its decision to prosecute Sarah Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, for exposure – even though he will never be released from prison for the murder.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Professionalism Bas Javid said he hopes the decision to prosecute “goes some small way” to show people the Met will be “ruthless” in holding rogue officers to account.

Couzens, 49, admitted three counts of indecent exposure when he appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday.

The offending took place in woodland in Deal, Kent on November 13 2020 and at a fast food restaurant in Kent on February 14 and 27 2021 – just months before he kidnapped, raped and murdered marketing manager Miss Everard, 33.

“I know the homicide team were meticulous and committed in doing everything they could to get justice for them.

“I hope this goes some small way to help the public understand that we will be ruthless in holding officers, even one serving a whole life order and who will never know freedom again, to account.

“We know the public will, understandably, be sickened at yet more grotesque crimes by Couzens.

“The process of flushing out the corrupt and the criminal from the Met will be slow and painful, but is necessary and we will continue to do so.

“This is how we will reform, move forward and become an institution Londoners can have confidence in.”

“It was our job to support them and hold him to account on their behalf and we took this duty seriously.

“Today is about those who were subjected to his vile behaviour and who have helped bring him to justice.

“Couzens tried to frighten and demean them, but they have only shown strength and dignity in reporting him and supporting this investigation.

“I would like to thank them for their patience, co-operation and help throughout the case.”

On February 28 2021, the force first became aware of a 2021 exposure allegation, and the investigation into it was ongoing when Ms Everard was kidnapped.

The 2020 exposure was reported to Kent Police at the time of the offence, but the victim contacted the Met following Ms Everard’s murder and the Met murder squad took on the investigation.

They used number plate recognition, financial and telephone records and speaking to victims to secure a conviction on the three charges.

Couzens pleaded not guilty to three further charges of exposure and they were left to lie on file.

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