Wayne Couzens, the man who murdered Sarah Everard, has been given a whole life sentence for murder, kidnap and rape.

Couzens, 48, who was a serving police officer at the time of the horrific killing, was handed the sentence following a two-day hearing at the Old Bailey.

Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4 after she failed to turn up to work after visiting a friend’s house in Clapham, south London.

CCTV from a bus appeared to capture the moment Everard was intercepted by Couzens.

A week later, her body was discovered in a woodland area in Ashford, Kent.

Everard’s murder led to a worldwide outpouring of grief and sparked protests against violence towards women. A vigil at Clapham Common in March ignited controversy after claims police acted in a heavy-handed manner, however, a police watchdog report found police acted “appropriately”.

In June, Couzens pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Everard, and a month later he also pleaded guilty to murder. It came out that Couzens, who was a serving diplomatic protection officer with the Metropolitan Police, had bought self-adhesive film and rented a car using his own details days before the murder.

After Couzens’ guilty plea, he was dismissed by Met Police.

At the Old Bailey, Couzens came face-to-face with Everard’s loved ones as the prosecution spelled out details of the case and her family gave heartbreaking victim impact statements about Sarah’s death.

Here is the timeline of how the case unfolded, stretching back as far as 2015 when Couzens was accused of indecent exposure.

The Sarah Everard case timeline:

2015: Kent Police allegedly fail to investigate an indecent exposure incident linked to Wayne Couzens.

September 2018: Couzens transfers to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

2019: Couzens and his wife buy a small area of woodland off Fridd Lane in Ashford, Kent.

February 2019: The Pc joins a response team covering the Bromley area of south London, having initially served in a Safer Neighbourhood Team.

February 2020: He moves to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command to patrol diplomatic premises, mainly embassies.

February 2021: The 48-year-old is linked to two allegations of indecent exposure in London, which it is claimed Scotland Yard failed to investigate.

February 28: Couzens books a white Vauxhall Astra from a car hire firm in Dover, Kent, using his personal details and bank card.

He also purchases a roll of self-adhesive film advertised as a carpet protector on Amazon.

March 2:7pm – Couzens starts a 12-hour shift at his base in West Brompton, west London.

March 3: On the day of her disappearance, Sarah Everard visits a friend in the Clapham Junction area and uses her bank card to buy a bottle of wine in Sainsbury’s in Brixton Hill, south London, on her way.

4.45pm – Couzens collects the hire car.

9pm – Everard leaves to walk home, some two and a half miles away.

9.13pm – She calls her boyfriend for a little over 14 minutes.

9.15pm – Everard is captured alone on CCTV at the junction of Bowood Road and the South Circular.

9.28pm – The next sighting is on Cavendish Road and she is still alone.

9.32pm – Everard is caught on the camera on a marked police car.

9.35pm – A bus camera captures two figures on Poynders Road standing beside a white Vauxhall Astra parked on the pavement with hazard lights flashing.

9.38pm – Another bus camera captures the same vehicle with the two front car doors open.

March 4:1am – Having travelled out of London, the car is in the Tilmanstone area of Kent.

8.30am – Couzens returns the hire car used in the abduction.

8.10pm – Ms Everard is reported missing by her boyfriend, Josh Lowth.

March 5: The case is escalated and the Specialist Crime Unit becomes involved.

Couzens, who is due to be off until March 8, reports to work that he is suffering with stress.

2pm – He buys two green rubble bags for £9.94 at B&Q in Dover.

March 6: Couzens emails his supervisor that he no longer wants to carry a firearm.

He orders a tarpaulin and a bungee cargo net on Amazon which are shipped to him the next day.

March 8: The officer reports in sick on the day he is due to return to work.

March 9: 7.11pm – Couzens’ phone is wiped of all data.

7.50pm – Couzens is arrested at his home in Deal, Kent.

In a brief interview, he tells a story about being threatened by an Eastern European gang.

March 10: At around 4.45pm, a body is discovered in a wooded area in Ashford, Kent, and later formally identified by dental records. It is around 100 metres from land owned by Couzens.

March 11: Couzens answers “no comment” in formal interviews.

March 12: 8.45pm: Couzens is charged.

July 9: Couzens pleads guilty to murder when he appears at the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh high-security jail.

September 30: Couzens is given a whole life sentence.

Previously speaking outside the Old Bailey in July, Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick expressed her condolences to Sarah Everard’s loved ones.

She said: “All of us in the Met are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes. They are dreadful. Everyone in policing feels betrayed.

“Sarah was a fantastic, talented young woman with her whole life ahead of her and that has been snatched away. She was hugely loved and she will be sorely missed by so very many people.

The commissioner added: “No words can adequately express the profound sadness and anger and regret that everyone in the Met feels about what happened to Sarah.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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