Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to three counts of indecent exposure

Twisted killer cop Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to three charges of indecent exposure including flashing at a McDonald’s drive thru days before he raped and murdered Sarah Everard

  • READ MORE: How police were sent McDonald’s CCTV before Sarah’s murder 
  • Bondage-obsessed Met officer is jailed for binding his housemate’s wrists  

Wayne Couzens today admitted exposing himself to three women before he kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

The twisted killer, 50, pleasured himself in front of a female cyclist in Deal, Kent, on November 13, 2020.

Couzens also admitted two counts of exposure which took place drive-in McDonald’s at the Swanley service station in Kent in February 2021. He flashed his genitals while handing over his card for payment for his food in his car in front of shocked female staff members.

The fiend severed in the Met’s parliamentary and diplomatic protection command – the same unit as David Carrick, who received multiple life sentences for years of horrific crimes against women last week. 

The force said both men worked in different parts of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command and there was ‘nothing to suggest they knew each other’. It added that internal records indicated they were never posted together.

Murderer Wayne Couzens has been charged with multiple counts of indecent exposure 

The former Met officer is currently serving a whole life term for the abduction, rape and murder of Ms Everard, 33, in March 2021.

He appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link from HMP Frankland high-security jail in County Durham today with a long grey beard, moustache, wearing a grey prison tracksuit and appearing overweight and admitted the three offences of exposure.

READ MORE: How McDonald’s worker who was flashed by Couzens blasted police for ‘not acting quickly enough’

He denied an allegation that he drove through Dover while naked from the waist down on June 9, 2015 and two more incidents of exposure which were said to have taken place at the McDonald’s in January 2021.

Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, accepted the pleas and said the Crown are not seeking a trial on the remaining counts.

All charges stated Couzens intentionally exposed his genitals ‘intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress’.

He will be sentenced on March 6.

Defence lawyer Jim Sturman, KC, asked for his client to be allowed to attend via video link saying it was an ‘enormous logistical exercise’ to get Couzens to court.

Couzens, of Deal, Kent, admitted three counts of exposure and denied another three counts.

Mr Sturman had earlier argued for a ‘stay’ to get all six counts of exposure thrown out against the former cop.

A court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Couzens appearing via video link at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London

Mr Sturman said it was a ‘genuinely unique’ case which met criteria to order the ‘exceptional’ stay.

The court heard the main argument for a stay was how ‘adverse publicity’ has made it impossible for Couzens to receive a fair trial.

Mr Sturman also argued that prosecution of the exposure charges was an ‘affront to justice’.

But Mrs Justice May rejected the stay on 2 November last year, it can now be revealed.

She said: ‘The defendant is currently serving a life sentence, with a whole of life term, imposed on 30 September 2021 for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

‘All murders are terrible events causing unbearable grief for family and friends of the victim.

‘But the disappearance, rape and murder of Sarah Everard touched a particular nerve, both in the UK and abroad.

‘She was walking home alone down a main street, well lit, in London at night during the pandemic when the defendant, exploiting his position as a serving police officer, stopped her, handcuffed her, put her in his car and drove her away, to rape and murder her in a deserted spot in the country hours later.

‘The press interest at the time was intense.

Sarah Everard, 33, was abducted, raped and murdered by Couzens while he was a serving Metropolitan Police officer

The McDonald’s drive-thru in Swanley, Kent, where Couzens flashed staff  

‘Each time something happens that can be linked to the defendant his name and picture appear in the press and online, with reference to his appalling crimes against Sarah Everard.

‘He has become a byword for violent sexual offending by men against women.’

The judge concluded that a court had no role in revisiting a prosecuting decision and said these proceedings fell ‘very far short’ of an affront to justice.

She then turned to the adverse publicity argument.

‘There is no doubt that the publicity surrounding the terrible events of Sarah Everard’s killing has been intense, at times lurid and sensational, occasionally wild and inaccurate, always redolent of the revulsion and horror that the offences against Sarah Everard rightly evoke.

‘I accept Mr Sturman’s submission that the coverage has been exceptional, that his client’s name is as a result notorious, forever linked to an horrific sexual killing, and that very few people, if any, could be found to serve on a jury who had not heard or read of the Sarah Everard case.’

She said, however, that jurors would be able to fulfil their oaths and separate their knowledge from their decision on the facts in a trial under good directions.

‘My conclusion at present, therefore, is that the defence have not satisfied me on the balance of probabilities that the effect of publicity to-date will render any trial unfair.’

She added that the court might review this decision as the trial judge and relevant lawyers keep the effect of publicity on the fairness of the trial ‘under close review’.

Couzens as he served as a Kent police officer before transferring to the Met Police elite unit where he was armed for his duties

The court heard that a trial date was previously ‘pencilled in’ for 7 March but nothing has been fixed.

Mrs Justice May also spoke about the evidence in the exposure case.

She said some of the incidents took place in a drive-in McDonald’s at the Swanley service station in Kent in early 2021.

‘On the last occasion staff took a registration number and identified the car from CCTV – a black Seat with number plate AF11XXW, registered to this defendant.

‘There are also receipts for payment using a credit card in his name.

‘Female staff working at the window taking cash and handing out food reported a man in the car with his penis and genitals exposed handing over his card for payment and then whilst taking food.

‘They reported that the man looked straight at them whilst sitting in the car, exposing himself to them in this way.

‘The female staff were shaken, upset and angry.

‘ANPR and cellsite data are said to locate the defendant and car in the area at times when this is said to have happened.’

In a prepared statement Couzens said he went to the McDonald’s regularly but never exposed himself, the court heard.

Couzens – who is already serving a whole life term – will be sentenced on March 6

The judge then turned to the separate indictment, containing two counts of exposure.

‘The first offence dates from June 2015 when a Mr Watson driving with his wife and two year old along London Road in Dover called in to Kent police to report a man in a car which they had just passed driving along with his penis exposed.

‘Mr Watson took the registration number of the car which he gave to police at the time.

‘There appears to have been no further investigation then but the Met investigation into the defendant following the death of Sarah Everard has established that the car whose number plate was noted by Mr Watson was registered to the defendant in June 2015, also that he had taken out insurance on that car at the time.’

The second offence is said to have taken place in November 2020 in Deal, Kent.

‘A woman was bicycling home along a narrow country lane up a hill past a wooded area.

‘On her account, as she cycled past the wooded bit a man stepped out onto the bank above her, very close as it was a narrow lane, totally naked, masturbating, and looking straight at her as he did so.

Last week his former Met Police colleague David Carrick, 48, was jailed for at least 30 years after he admitted dozens of charges of rape and sexual offences against 12 women, to become one of Britain’s worst ever serial sex attackers  

‘She was scared and shaken and could do nothing but cycle past, up the hill, as fast as she was able.

‘She noticed a black car parked 50m further on and recalled a partial number plate as NF11.

‘She spoke to some walkers to warn them before calling her husband to tell him what had happened.

‘ANPR and cell site data are said to locate this defendant in his Seat registration number AF11 XXW in that country area at that time.’

Couzens, of Deal, Kent, admitted three counts of exposure.

Last week his former Met Police colleague David Carrick, 48, was jailed for at least 30 years after he admitted dozens of charges of rape and sexual offences against 12 women, to become one of Britain’s worst ever serial sex attackers.

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