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Sarah Everard's family say 'she died because Wayne Couzens was a police officer'

The family of Sarah Everard spoke of their pain following the publication of the inquiry report ((BBC Studios/PA))
The family of Sarah Everard spoke of their pain following the publication of the inquiry report ((BBC Studios/PA))

The family of Sarah Everard spoke of their pain as a scathing report found her killer Wayne Couzens should never have been given a job as a police officer.

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, was abducted and raped by off-duty armed PC Cozens near Clapham Common, south west London in March 2021.

Publishing her findings on Thursday, inquiry chairwoman Lady Elish Angiolini discovered chances to stop the sexual predator were repeatedly ignored and missed by three different forces, including the Metropolitan Police.

Ms Everard’s parents Sue and Jeremy and siblings Katie and James, said in a statement: “It is almost three years now since Sarah died.

“We no longer wait for her call; we no longer expect to see her.

“We know she won’t be there at family gatherings.

“But the desperate longing to have her with us remains and the loss of Sarah pervades every part of our lives.

“The care and support of family, friends and the wider community have helped us to bear this and we would like to thank them.”

The statement added they would be “forever grateful” to Lady Elish and her team and former Home Secretary Priti Patel, who commissioned the inquiry.

Couzens, 51 – who will never be released from prison – used his status as a police officer to trick Miss Everard into thinking he could arrest her for breaking lockdown rules in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

 (supplied)
(supplied)

In response to the report, Miss Everard’s family said they believe she died because Couzens was a police officer, adding: “She would never have got into a stranger’s car.”

“As a family, the inquiry has helped us, not just because of its significant findings, but because its implementation made us feel that Sarah’s life was valued and her memory honoured,” they said.

“Her death has not been dismissed as a tragic event to be acknowledged with sympathy and then forgotten – questions have been raised and actions taken to investigate how this tragedy happened.

“As a family, we have not had to fight for answers and, for this, we are very thankful.

“It is obvious that Wayne Couzens should never have been a police officer. Whilst holding a position of trust, in reality he was a serial sex offender.

“Warning signs were overlooked throughout his career and opportunities to confront him were missed.”