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

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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.

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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.

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