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The twisted police officer who kidnapped, raped and killed Sarah Everard did not intend to murder her, his defence lawyer has claimed.
Entering mitigation for depraved predator Wayne Couzens at his sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, defence lawyer Jim Sturman QC argued that there was no proof the copper had premeditated or planned Sarahs' death.
He is also "full of self-loathing and abject shame" the QC claimed.
The fact Couzens only bought items to dispose of the body after he had abducted the 33-year-old marketing executive, Sturman argued, was proof that he had not intended to kill her when he kidnapped her.
Sturman argued there was "very little evidence" that Couzens – since sacked from the Met – had been driving around London looking for lone females "with murder in mind".
The lawyer also argued that Couzens service as a police officer should be taken into account in his favour, and argued that a whole life order sought by the prosecution would not be appropriate as they are usually reserved for serial killers.
Couzens, who pleaded guilty to Sarah's kidnap, rape and murder back in June, worked for an elite Westminster-based unit which protects diplomats, VIPs and high-profile buildings in the capital.
But away from his important job and seemingly happy family life, the 48-year-old was hiding sick perversions that escalated into the tragic murder of Sarah.
Moment Wayne Couzens shown photo of Sarah Everard days after he raped and murdered her
Couzens is a dad-of-two and lived in Deal, Kent, with his Ukrainian-born wife Elena, 38, and their young children.
The coastal town is around 75 miles away from Clapham, where he intercepted Sarah.
No-one knows what possessed the former cop to end the innocent life of a stranger and the pair were not known to each other.
But after his guilty verdict at the Old Bailey details emerged of the elaborate plan he concocted during his police interviews in a desperate bid to evade justice.
Couzens claimed to be having financial problems and dreamed up an unlikely story about getting into trouble with a gang of Eastern Europeans who had threatened him and his family.
Couzens will be sentenced when his hearing recommences after 11.30am on Thursday.
- Sarah Everard
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