UK

Former Pc faces tribunal over alleged failure to probe Wayne Couzens claims

Wayne Couzens is serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard (Met Police/PA)
Wayne Couzens is serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard (Met Police/PA) Wayne Couzens is serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard (Met Police/PA)

A former Metropolitan Police officer faces a disciplinary hearing on Monday over alleged missed opportunities to catch Wayne Couzens before he kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

Former Police Constable Samantha Lee is said to have failed to make “the correct investigative inquiries” in March 2021 over a flashing allegation against the then serving firearms officer.

She is also said to have lied about her actions when questioned.

In March, Couzens was sentenced to 19 months in prison after admitting three counts of indecent exposure.

Wayne Couzens court case
Wayne Couzens court case Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens (Family handout/PA)

He was already serving life behind bars for kidnapping Ms Everard as she walked home through Clapham, south London, on March 3 2021 and then murdering her.

Two of the exposure charges involved him flashing at women at a drive-through restaurant days before the killing.

He also indecently exposed himself to a female cyclist on a Kent country lane in November 2020.

He had not been identified as a police officer when he kidnapped 33-year-old marketing executive Ms Everard.

The allegations state: “It is alleged that in March 2021 former Pc Lee failed to undertake the correct investigative inquiries into an allegation of indecent exposure (concerning Wayne Couzens as the named suspect) and that she subsequently provided a misleading account of her actions when questioned about them.

“The matter set out above is alleged to amount to gross misconduct in that it is so serious as to justify dismissal.”

Ms Lee is said to have breached force’s standards on duties and responsibilities as well as honesty and integrity.

If she is found to have committed gross misconduct, she could be banned from serving in the force again.

The misconduct hearing at Palestra House in Southwark is expected to last seven days from Monday to May 23.