Everything we know about Wayne Couzens, the murder suspect and elite protection officer who was relied upon to keep VIPs safe
Metropolitan Police officer had just returned from shift in London when he was arrested over the disappearance of Sarah Everard
Just hours before his arrest on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering missing Sarah Everard, Wayne Couzens had been at work keeping politicians and VIPs safe as part of the Metropolitan Police’s elite Diplomatic Protection Command.
But not long after Mr Couzens got in from work, arriving back at the neat home he shares with his wife in Deal, Kent, following the two-hour drive from London, there was a knock at the door.
Scotland Yard colleagues from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command informed him that he was being arrested in connection with the disappearance of 33-year-old Miss Everard (pictured below), who had gone missing without trace six days earlier in south London. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and also of an unrelated indecent exposure.
‘A wonderful father’
Friends, neighbours and family of Mr Couzens could not believe that the former mechanic and devoted family man was being linked with the disappearance of a young woman.Advertisementhttps://c961c48bde2f53ba2120f5893deb6121.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?v=1-0-38
Speaking to The Telegraph from her home in Kropyvnytsky (Kirovograd), 300 miles south of Kiev, Nina Sukhoreba, Mr Couzens’s mother-in-law, (pictured below) expressed her shock.
“He could not do anything like this. He is a wonderful family man, a wonderful man. This just sounds crazy to me.”
She said since marrying her daughter in 2006, Mr Couzens, 49, had been striving to learn Ukrainian and had visited the country every year.
Shortly before Mr Couzens’s arrest, his wife had spoken to her mother, who lives in a remote part of Ukraine, and updated her on news of their two children returning to school after the lockdown was lifted.
“I talked to my daughter just yesterday and she didn’t tell me anything. She said Wayne was at work and everything was fine.
“He is a wonderful father. He came to visit with the children and we all walked to the river and he helped me at home and in the garden.
“Due to coronavirus they didn’t come this year. I visited them two years ago in the UK. Everything is fine there. Yesterday I literally talked to my daughter and she told me that everything is fine.”
Born in Dover, Kent, in 1972, Mr Couzens was the eldest of two boys, whose family ran a garage and car body shop. He worked in the business along with his brother but they both left to pursue a career in policing and the garage closed down.Advertisementhttps://c961c48bde2f53ba2120f5893deb6121.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?v=1-0-38
He first joined the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where he underwent firearms training, working as part of the team protecting Dungeness Nuclear Power station close to where he lived in Kent.
But he later transferred to the Metropolitan Police, where he was able to use his firearms expertise to join the elite Diplomatic Protection Group.
Based in Westminster, the unit is tasked with protecting MPs and other dignitaries in and around the capital.
Neighbours in Deal described them as being the perfect family who doted on their two children.
Hairdresser Kerry Slade, 56, said she had last seen them on Monday when she spotted their young daughter in her uniform, ready for her first day back at school.
She said: “They are just a nice normal family. I think they moved in between three and five years ago. I spoke to the woman whenever I passed the house as she was always very chatty.
“The last time I saw them was when I was walking the dog at about 8.30am on Monday and I saw the little girl in her school uniform.Advertisementhttps://c961c48bde2f53ba2120f5893deb6121.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?v=1-0-38
“I know the man has had building stuff in his garden getting work done recently. He is a police officer. I saw him in his uniform. He was a biker and you’d often see him in the garage working on his motorbike.”
Another neighbour described how Mr Couzens had been led out of his home at around 8.30pm.
More from News
- Live Sarah Everard vigil: Kate, Duchess of Cambridge attends Clapham Common to pay tributeByGareth Davies 13 Mar 2021, 5:36pm
- Pensioners to get third ‘booster’ jab in August, JCVI chief suggestsByGeorgina Hayes13 Mar 2021, 5:27pm
- Matt cartoons – March 2021 13 Mar 2021, 5:26pm
- Old Etonian friend of David Cameron forced to scrap plan to build fancy seaside restaurant in DevonByPatrick Sawer13 Mar 2021, 5:09pm
- Unionists should leave the SNP to fall apart and concentrate on promoting BritishnessDANIEL HANNAN 13 Mar 2021, 5:00pm
- William and Harry Act II: How they’ve been shaped by the women they marriedByAngela Levin13 Mar 2021, 5:00pm
More from The Telegraph
Back to top Follow us on:
- Contact us
- About us
- Reader Prints
- Branded Content
- Syndication and Commissioning
- Terms and Conditions
- Advertising Terms
- Fantasy Sport
- UK Voucher Codes
- Betting Offers
- Modern Slavery
- Manage Cookies
© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2021