The family of Sarah Everard has welcomed a whole life sentence for her killer, saying: “The world is a safer place with him imprisoned.”
On Thursday, Wayne Couzens, 48, was handed a whole life order at the Old Bailey in London for the kidnap, rape and murder of the 33-year-old marketing executive.
Her parents Jeremy and Susan and sister Katie had given moving victim impact statements expressing their outrage at Couzens’ crimes, demanding that he look at them in court.
On Thursday, they sat calmly in court, metres from the Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, as a visibly shaking Couzens was sent down.
Afterwards they shook hands with the detectives who helped bring him to justice before leaving court.
In a statement, the family said: “We are very pleased that Wayne Couzens has received a full life sentence and will spend the rest of his life in jail.
“Nothing can make things better, nothing can bring Sarah back, but knowing he will be imprisoned forever brings some relief.
“Sarah lost her life needlessly and cruelly and all the years of life she had yet to enjoy were stolen from her.
“Wayne Couzens held a position of trust as a police officer, and we are outraged and sickened that he abused this trust in order to lure Sarah to her death.
“The world is a safer place with him imprisoned.
“It is almost seven months since Sarah died and the pain of losing her is overwhelming.
“We miss her all the time.
“She was a beautiful young woman in looks and character and our lives are the poorer without her.
“We remember all the lovely things about Sarah, her compassion and kindness, her intelligence, her strong social conscience.
“But we especially like to remember her laughing and dancing and enjoying life.
“We hold her safe in our hearts.”
Paying tribute to all those who worked on the case, they said: “We are immensely grateful to the police and legal team who worked on Sarah’s case.
“We cannot thank them enough for their meticulous and painstaking work and for their constant support.
“We also send our heartfelt thanks to our family and friends for comforting us through this terrible time.”