/Wayne Couzens: From trusted police officer to murderer

Wayne Couzens: From trusted police officer to murderer

From a volunteer soldier and trusted armed police officer to a murderer, rapist and kidnapper – an outside view of Wayne Couzens’ life gave few clues to the horrors he was capable of.

The serving Metropolitan Police officer has today admitted to the murder of Sarah Everard.

In 2015 Wayne Couzens was pictured at the family garage in Dover when his father Ray retiredIn 2015 Wayne Couzens was pictured at the family garage in Dover when his father Ray retired
In 2015 Wayne Couzens was pictured at the family garage in Dover when his father Ray retired

Couzens, formerly of Freemens Way in Deal, kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard in a crime that shocked communities across Kent and prompted waves of protests from women wanting to ‘Reclaim these Streets’ across the country.

His arrest on Tuesday, March 9 led to large-scale searches across Kent including at the home he shared with his wife and children, his family’s former garage premises in Dover, a waterway in Sandwich and the woodland near Ashford where the remains of 33 year-old Miss Everard were found.

The remains of Sarah Everard were found at land owned by Couzens and his wife Elena near AshfordThe remains of Sarah Everard were found at land owned by Couzens and his wife Elena near Ashford
The remains of Sarah Everard were found at land owned by Couzens and his wife Elena near Ashford

Little is known about the former mechanic’s private life where friends and colleagues are remaining tight lipped.

But a court transcript from Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, March 13 revealed Couzens had claimed at the time of his arrest he regularly met prostitutes at the Grand Burstin Hotel and the Holiday Inn at Folkestone. He claimed his family was being threatened because he had short-changed a sex worker.

A source from Deal described him as “odd” and “not fitting in” socially.

He said: “I went out on a night out and he was just odd. Very odd in his mannerisms, the things he said. He would say shocking things.”

And a neighbour whose identity we are protecting told us: “I didn’t know Wayne Couzens to talk to.

“I had seen him working on motor cycles out the front of his home. I also have served him at a cafe I used to work at.

“He brought his children a couple of times and ordered food. He seemed a very bad tempered person, not very polite. I noticed when I served him.”

Couzens with his grandfather Walter who set up the family business BCB in Dover which closed in 2015.Couzens with his grandfather Walter who set up the family business BCB in Dover which closed in 2015.
Couzens with his grandfather Walter who set up the family business BCB in Dover which closed in 2015.

Couzens hails from a tight-knit family and went into the family business in 1990 as an apprentice at the garage his father Ray ran, BCB in Centre Road, Dover.

His grandfather Walter had started the business in 1968 and Ray took it over in 1978. When the business closed in 2015 upon Ray’s retirement, Couzens then 42, he told our reporter he himself had worked there for 21 years. He left in 2011 and described it as “a family institution”.

Police search for Sarah Everard removed vehicles at Freemens Way, Deal. Picture: Barry GoodwinPolice search for Sarah Everard removed vehicles at Freemens Way, Deal. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Police search for Sarah Everard removed vehicles at Freemens Way, Deal. Picture: Barry Goodwin

In addition to the garage Couzens was involved at the Territorial Army unit in Dover.

He was pictured in 2002 during a countrywide campaign to recruit more men and women to the corps.

Couzens (top) attended a weekend trip with the Territorial Army as it appealed for men and women to join themCouzens (top) attended a weekend trip with the Territorial Army as it appealed for men and women to join them
Couzens (top) attended a weekend trip with the Territorial Army as it appealed for men and women to join them

After taking part in a TA weekend in 2002, Couzens, then 29, was quoted as saying: “We came along for the challenge and adventure.

“The TA is a happy compromise between the regular army and a civilian job, and we’re having a fantastic time.”

Wayne Couzens (right) was a Private from C Company, 3 PWWR with his certificate for passing out as top student on the Battalion-run driving course. Copyright.Emily Caroe MIPR.The Bennett-Caroe PartnershipWayne Couzens (right) was a Private from C Company, 3 PWWR with his certificate for passing out as top student on the Battalion-run driving course. Copyright.Emily Caroe MIPR.The Bennett-Caroe Partnership
Wayne Couzens (right) was a Private from C Company, 3 PWWR with his certificate for passing out as top student on the Battalion-run driving course. Copyright.Emily Caroe MIPR.The Bennett-Caroe Partnership

In 2004, he is reported to have “excelled at a battalion-run driving course”.

He was reported as being a private in the Territorial Army with C Company, 3rd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (Volunteer) and based in Canterbury.

Forensics officers search fields that back on to Wayne Couzens' home Picture: UKNIPForensics officers search fields that back on to Wayne Couzens' home Picture: UKNIP
Forensics officers search fields that back on to Wayne Couzens’ home Picture: UKNIP

During the driving course, Couzens was tested in all areas of driving for both civilian and military vehicles and passed the course with “flying colours achieving Top Student status”.

It is reported he met his Ukrainian scientist wife Elena in Switzerland where she was working.

Wayne Couzens and family Picture: FacebookWayne Couzens and family Picture: Facebook
Wayne Couzens and family Picture: Facebook

The couple married in 2006 and they started a family.

Couzens spent a time volunteering for Kent Police as a Special.

Wayne Couzens (Third from left) at a Kent Police recruitment event for Special officers in 2008 at Folkestone Police StationWayne Couzens (Third from left) at a Kent Police recruitment event for Special officers in 2008 at Folkestone Police Station
Wayne Couzens (Third from left) at a Kent Police recruitment event for Special officers in 2008 at Folkestone Police Station

In November 2008 he was pictured in Folkestone wearing the force’s specials uniform conducting a breath test as part of recruitment drive.

He joined the Metropolitan Police force in September 2018 and was initially based in the Bromley area, the Met said.

Wayne Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey via video link Picture: PA/Elizabeth CookWayne Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey via video link Picture: PA/Elizabeth Cook
Wayne Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey via video link Picture: PA/Elizabeth Cook

In February last year he moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command where his primary role was uniformed patrols, mainly at a range of embassies in the capital.

A woman was arrested at the same time as him on the suspicion of assisting the kidnapping of Miss Everard and was bailed. No further action is to be taken against her.

CCTV is erected outside the home of Wayne Couzens Picture: UKNIPCCTV is erected outside the home of Wayne Couzens Picture: UKNIP
CCTV is erected outside the home of Wayne Couzens Picture: UKNIP

She was reportedly fearful of trolls on social media.

Elena’s mother Nina Sukhoreba, who lives in Kirovograd, Ukraine, slammed social media users after they left horrific messages on her daughter and son-in-law’s Facebook accounts following Wayne’s arrest in the wake of Everard’s disappearance.

CCTV was seen being put up outside their home.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

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