Senior Met officers ‘not aware’ of Wayne Couzens ‘rapist’ nickname

·2-min read
Wayne Couzens was said to be too ashamed to look at the family of his victim in court (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)
Wayne Couzens was said to be too ashamed to look at the family of his victim in court (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

Senior Metropolitan Police officers were “not aware” Sarah Everard’s killer was nicknamed “the rapist” by former colleagues, the Met’s Deputy Commissioner has said.

Wayne Couzens received a life sentence on Thursday for the kidnap, rape and murder of Ms Everard while he was a serving Met Officer.

Serious questions have been asked of the Met over Mr Couzens’ crimes as the judge concluded the killer “had planned well in advance, in all its unspeakably grim detail, what was about to occur”.

Speaking to the London Assembly’s police and crime committee on Thursday, Deputy Met Commissioner Sir Stephen House said Mr Couzens “abused the trust placed in him as a police officer by the public London”.

Disturbing evidence surrounding Mr Couzens began to emerge following his arrest earlier this year, including that he had been nicknamed “the rapist” by colleagues as he made women feel uncomfortable.

Mr House said he was “not aware of” the nickname given to Mr Couzens by his colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where he worked prior to the Met.

Watch: Sarah Everard murder - The five questions the police still need to answer about Wayne Couzens

He added: “I hadn’t heard it [until] today, to be honest.”

The Met has come under intense scrutiny in the wake of Ms Everard’s murder.

Couzens has been accused of indecently exposing himself in public just weeks before Ms Everard’s murder.

Mr House told Assembly Members an investigation into the reported incident was underway when Ms Everard was killed.

He said: “We had a report that a man had indecently exposed himself a few days before the murder took place. He wasn’t identified at that time as a police officer. He was off duty and he exposed himself in a commercial setting and it was reported to the Metropolitan Police Service.”

The Deputy Commissioner confirmed the Independent Office for Police Conduct has been investigating the Met’s handling of the reported incident and he could not comment further until that investigation has concluded.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s vetting process for new officers will be scrutinised as part of an investigation by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

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