UK PM Johnson Pledges to 'Get More Rapists Behind Bars' After Sarah Everard's Killer Sentenced
09:36 GMT 03.10.2021 (Updated: 10:12 GMT 03.10.2021)
Wayne Couzens, a British police officer, who raped and strangled Sarah Everard in March, was sentenced to life in prison without parole earlier this week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Sunday that he will "stop at nothing to make sure that we get more rapists behind bars", stressing that the country needs "more successful prosecutions for rape and for sexual violence".
"We do need to look systemically at not just the Wayne Couzens case but the whole handling of rape, domestic violence, sexual violence, and female complaints about harassment altogether", the politician said.
The head of the cabinet made this statement after a life sentence was handed down for the murderer of Sarah Everard by former Metropolitan Police Officer PC Wayne Couzens.
The Everard case also raised major concerns about the police vetting procedures because Couzens was previously linked to several indecent incidents. This includes a flashing offence in 2015, and two more incidents, which occurred mere days before he committed the gruesome murder.
© AP Photo / Elizabeth CookThis court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook shows serving police constable Wayne Couzens, center appearing in the dock at Westminster Magistrates' Court, in London, Saturday, March 13, 2021
This court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook shows serving police constable Wayne Couzens, center appearing in the dock at Westminster Magistrates' Court, in London, Saturday, March 13, 2021
© AP Photo / Elizabeth Cook
Addressing the issue, Johnson noted there is no need to launch an independent public inquiry, saying that the Metropolitan Police and the Independent Office for Police Conduct are probing the issue.
On 3 March, Couzens forced the 33-year-old woman to get in his car, as she walked home from a friend's house in south London. He used his police identification and handcuffs to deceive Everard, claiming she was arrested for violating coronavirus lockdown rules. Then he raped and strangled his victim with his police belt.
Her body was later found 80 miles away, burned and dumped in a pond in the woods in Kent.