Ex-UK policeman, jailed for murder, convicted of indecent exposure
A former UK policeman jailed for life for murder was sentenced to an additional 19 months in prison on Monday for indecent exposure, raising questions about whether he could have been stopped sooner.
Wayne Couzens, 50, is already serving a rare whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of London woman Sarah Everard after he snatched her off the streets in March 2021.
He admitted to indecently exposing himself to other women, in November 2020 and February 2021, and betrayed no emotion as he appeared for his sentencing in London's Old Bailey criminal court via video-link from jail.
"Four months after you exposed yourself to me, you raped and murdered an innocent woman," one of his victims, a female cyclist, said in a statement to the court.
"There were opportunities to identify you and they were not taken. I did not feel that, when I reported your crime, it was taken as seriously as I felt that it should have been," she said.
"The horror of what happened will remain with me for the rest of my life."
The cyclist was unable to confirm to police the registration number of Couzens' car after he stood and exposed himself to her on a country lane in Kent, southeast England.
But the car's details were captured fully on CCTV camera when he again exposed himself to female employees of a fast food restaurant, in the fortnight before he attacked Everard.
Getting away with his sexual assaults had only fuelled "a dangerous belief in his invincibility", judge Juliet May said in her sentencing.
Since the killing of Everard, other shocking cases involving London police officers have come to light.
David Carrick was jailed for life a month ago, with a minimum term of more than 30 years, for dozens of rapes and sexual assaults stretching back to 2002.
Carrick and Couzens served at one point in the same armed unit protecting MPs and foreign diplomats.
The government has commissioned an independent inquiry to look into how the officers escaped detection, and London's Metropolitan Police force is pursing a crackdown in its ranks.