Sarah Everard detective recalls shock at learning killer was PCon March 4, 2024 at 11:13 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

A new BBC documentary reveals the moment police found out Wayne Couzens was a police officer.

Sarah EverardImage source, BBC/Sarah Everard family

The detective who led the Sarah Everard murder inquiry has told the BBC about the moment she found out killer Wayne Couzens was a police officer.

Ms Everard, 33, was abducted, raped and murdered by serving Metropolitan Police officer Couzens as she walked home in London in 2021.

It is the first time Katherine Goodwin has spoken on camera about the case.

“I can just remember the shock of having to… say to [my boss], ‘You’re not going to believe this’.”

Det Ch Insp Goodwin made the comments in new BBC documentary Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice, which will air on Tuesday, days after the third anniversary of Ms Everard’s death.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

The detective recounted how officers had traced a name linked to a car seen in CCTV footage. The footage showed a man standing with Ms Everard next to a vehicle where she had been walking.

She said: “At that time, Wayne Couzens was a name that meant nothing to any of us. So immediately we start researching the name, also the phone number and the address that had been given when he’d hired the car.”

Sarah Everard

Image source, BBC/Sarah Everard family

Detectives then found out he was suspected of indecent exposure. Det Ch Insp Goodwin sent a team to Couzens’ house in Kent to question him and, while officers were en route, a detective ran into her office, shut the door, and told her “you need to hear this”.

A researcher on the phone revealed Couzens was a serving Metropolitan Police officer.

Sarah Everard

Image source, BBC/ Sarah Everard family

Det Ch Insp Goodwin told the documentary: “I knew that I had to tell my boss and I can just remember the shock of having to just sit on the floor of the office and say to her, ‘You’re not going to believe this, that he’s a police officer’.

“And then the same questions went through her head as went through my head: ‘Are you sure?’.”

Sarah Everard

Image source, BBC/Everard family

Former Met detective Nick Harvey was on his way to question Couzens at his house when he discovered the suspect was an officer.

‘It just went silent’

He said: “The gravity of the whole situation then became incredibly clear. You know, the moment I told the team, it just went silent.”

Knocking on Couzens’ front door and showing his warrant card, Mr Harvey said the killer “just went grey”.

“Just… all the colour just ran out of his face,” he said.

Wayne Couzens

Image source, Met Police

The murder of Ms Everard, a marketing assistant abducted by Couzens as she walked home in south London on 3 March 2021, put a spotlight on violence against women and girls.

Couzens was sentenced to a whole-life term in prison and will never be released.

Last week, an inquiry chaired by Lady Elish Angiolini said Couzens should never have been given his job as a police officer and chances to stop the sexual predator were repeatedly ignored and missed.

Lady Elish said “without a significant overhaul, there is nothing to stop another Couzens operating in plain sight.”

Viewers in the UK can watch Sarah Everard: The Search for Justice on BBC One, 21:00GMT, Tuesday 5 March, and on iPlayer here after broadcast.

Presentational grey line

Listen to the best of BBC Radio London on Sounds and follow BBC London on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to hello.bbclondon@bbc.co.uk

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

The Papers: Sir David Amess’s family ‘broken’ by MP’s killingon October 17, 2021 at 11:52 pm

Most papers lead on the statement released by the family of MP Sir David Amess, who was killed on Friday.

‘Don’t panic but don’t dither over clearing’on August 18, 2022 at 10:33 am

Ucas Deputy Chair Edward Peck gives some advice on the clearing process.Ucas Deputy Chair Edward Peck gives some advice on the clearing process.

Mexico mayor assassinated in town hall massacreon October 6, 2022 at 5:43 am

At least 18 people are killed in the shooting blamed on the Los Tequileros crime gang.Image source, Totolapan governmentBy Nathan WilliamsBBC NewsGunmen have killed...

Metropolitan Police put into special measureson June 28, 2022 at 4:34 pm

The force has been hit by a number of scandals in recent years including the murder of Sarah Everard.The Met Police has been placed...

Muir & Summerhayes miss out on podium – so where could a Team GB medal come from?on February 15, 2022 at 3:40 am

Team GB's wait for a 2022 Winter Olympic medal goes on as freestyle skiers Kirsty Muir and Katie Summerhayes finish short of the slopestyle...