Outrage as it’s revealed Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens got £20,000 in legal aid

Wayne Couzens claimed more than £20,000 in legal aid, Freedom of Information Act (FOI) data has revealed.

The FOI request made by The Metro showed that the then police officer claimed the public funds for representation both at a police station and at crown court.

Couzens claimed £294 in legal aid for a solicitor and £17,136 for a barrister to represent him at the Old Bailey.

The revelation has sparked outrage from campaigners for Women Against Rape, who said they had “fought for years” to defend against cuts but that women were left to “live in poverty”.

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Wayne Couzens ‘falsely arrested’ Sarah Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, claiming she was breaking Covid-19 guidelines

Speaking to The Metro a spokesperson for the group Lisa Longstaff said:

“Everyone is entitled to a defence. Legal aid is based on income and wealth and is a crucial right that we’ve fought for years to defend from sweeping Tory cuts.

“These cuts have denied access to the law for many of the women we work with, such as survivors of domestic abuse including women seeking asylum and mothers forced to live in poverty.”

The disgraced officer also claimed a further £2,692 in unspecified ‘disbursements’ before being given a whole life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

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Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens on the evening of March 3

The Legal Aid Agency has stated that the total amount from claims related to Couzens representation has not yet been received.

After the officer’s arrest in March 2021, he had falsely claimed that he was forced to kidnap the 33-year-old on her way home and hand her to a gang.

But it later came to light that he had abused police powers to conduct a false arrest before abducting the marketing executive.

He later pleaded guilty to the murder and received his sentencing at the Old Bailey.

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The 48-year-old has since lodged an appeal to reduce the length of his sentence and according to the Guardian it will broadly argue that though his crimes were serious, they did not merit a whole life sentence.

If the application is allowed, appeal court judges will consider the attempt to have the sentence set aside.

If it is rejected, Couzens can later try again.

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