Prosecution and defence legal professionals appearing in the case of Wayne Couzens had been right now praised by the choose passing a whole-life sentence for the murder of Sarah Everard whereas Couzens was a serving police officer. In his sentencing remarks, Lord Justice Fulford paid tribute to ‘probably the most distinctive help from counsel and solicitors on each side’.
He mentioned: ‘This has been a case of actual authorized and tactical problem, and the cooperation of the authorized career has been second to none.’
Fulford LJ was passing a whole-life sentence on Couzens following a two-day sentencing listening to on the Central Felony Courtroom. Couzens had beforehand pleaded responsible to murder.
The remarks dealt in element with the choice to move a whole-life order quite than life with a minimal time period. Explaining his reasoning, Fulford LJ conceded that the offence didn’t meet the factors of these set out underneath the Sentencing Act 2020 for which a whole-life sentence could be applicable. Nevertheless he mentioned that the laws didn’t current a closed record of instances. ‘Using the phrases “cases that would normally fall” into this class makes this clear.’ he mentioned.
In ruling on a brand new class of case, the query he needed to determine was whether or not a police officer’s use of his place to kidnap, rape and murder a sufferer meets the take a look at of exceptionally excessive seriousness. Ruling the reply to be sure, he mentioned: ‘In my judgment, the misuse of a police officer’s role resembling occurred in this case in order to kidnap, rape and murder a lone sufferer is of equal seriousness as a murder carried out for the aim of advancing a political, spiritual, racial or ideological trigger. All of those conditions assault completely different facets of the elemental underpinnings of our democratic lifestyle.’
Concluding, Fulford LJ additionally paid tribute to court docket workers. ‘Guaranteeing that this listening to ran easily has been no small feat given the variety of individuals to be accommodated in court docket and through CVP, together with the lingering logistical difficulties posed by the Covid pandemic. The workers at this court docket have ensured that the whole lot has gone precisely to plan, and I wish to acknowledge the unbelievable arduous work and cautious thought that has enabled the procedures over final two days to seem so deceptively easy.’