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UK cop who killed Sarah Everard appeals life sentence

AFP logo AFP 10/27/2021 AFP
The case stirred soul-searching in Britain, with many women opening up about their feelings of insecurity © Tolga Akmen The case stirred soul-searching in Britain, with many women opening up about their feelings of insecurity

The British policeman guilty of murdering Londoner Sarah Everard in a crime that rocked the country appealed on Wednesday against his whole-life sentence. 

"An application for permission to mount an appeal against sentence has been lodged," said a Court of Appeal official.

Wayne Couzens, 48, used his police ID card to arrest the 33-year-old as she walked home in south London on the evening of March 3. 

He accused her of breaching coronavirus restrictions before handcuffing her, putting her in his car and then raping her.

He strangled the marketing executive and set her body alight in a wooded area around 60 miles (96 kilometres) southeast of London. 

Judge Adrian Fulford said last month that Couzens' use of his police status to carry out the "grotesque" offences warranted the highest penalty, a rare whole-life jail term for which there is no possibility of parole.

The case stirred soul-searching in Britain, with many women opening up about their feelings of insecurity.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "sickened" at Couzens' crimes, and that the officer had acted in "total betrayal" of his role to protect the public. 

The case also cast an unfavourable light on London's Metropolitan police, amid questions about how Couzens passed security vetting and allegations of misogyny within the force.

The Met, which is facing a UK government inquiry into "systematic failures", said Wednesday that a 28-year-old constable had been charged with rape after a sexual assault in London on Sunday.

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