London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Wayne Couzens: Met PC missed chance to investigate, hearing told

Wayne Couzens: Met PC missed chance to investigate, hearing told

A Met Police constable missed an opportunity to properly investigate Wayne Couzens over two instances of flashing hours before he murdered Sarah Everard, a hearing has been told.

Samantha Lee is said to have failed to make "the correct investigative inquiries" when Couzens exposed himself at a fast-food restaurant in Kent.

At the misconduct hearing, she was also accused of lying about her actions.

Ms Lee, who is no longer a police officer, denies gross misconduct.

She also denies breaching the force's standards.

Wayne Couzens will never be freed


'Less urgent'


The misconduct allegations relate to how Ms Lee investigated two instances of Couzens exposing himself to female members of staff at the McDonald's drive-through restaurant in Swanley, Kent, on 14 and 27 February 2020.

The police disciplinary hearing was told that Ms Lee visited the restaurant on 3 March, interviewing the branch's manager Sam Taylor, hours before Ms Everard was kidnapped by Couzens in Clapham, south-west London.

Paul Ozin KC, for the Met Police, said after the incidents were reported to the force on 28 February, the matter was recorded as "less urgent" than other matters the force had to deal with.

He said a computer check, which was made after the restaurant manager made the call, confirmed the black Seat Exeo had been registered to Couzens since January 2018.

Mr Ozin added: "There is no standard check that takes place to see whether a suspect in criminal police cases are police officers."

CCTV footage showed Couzens' car at the McDonald's drive-through


The hearing was also told about claims that Ms Lee lied about her knowledge of the restaurant's CCTV.

Mr Ozin said Mr Taylor claimed to have explained to her that while the drive-through CCTV soon deleted automatically, other CCTV footage - which he showed her - depicted Couzens' car.

Mr Taylor also showed her receipts that showed the last four digits of Couzens' card on both occasions, the hearing was told, as well as witness statements taken from two members of staff.

However, Mr Ozin told the hearing Ms Lee says she was not shown any CCTV footage but was instead shown how the CCTV system worked.


'Misunderstanding'


He said she had accepted she took possession of receipts and witness statements from Mr Taylor.

In a report made after attending the restaurant, Ms Lee recommended Couzens be arrested and questioned.

Mr Ozin said Ms Lee said she believed this report would be allocated to a different team to follow up on.

However, Mr Ozin said she did not put the witness statements and the receipts in a sealed evidence bag, instead keeping them in a pocket in her body armour.

Mr Ozin said: "One of the central issues of this case is whether there has been some horrible misunderstanding.

"It [the evidence] is supportive of the unpalatable conclusion that PC Lee just did not bother to get the CCTV, even though she knew it was important, instead relying on others to do that instead of her, and that she later lied to others when she knew that the stakes had escalated astronomically."

The Met Police says the allegations amount to gross misconduct


If Ms Lee is found to have committed gross misconduct, she could be banned from serving as a police officer again.

In March, Couzens was sentenced to 19 months in prison after admitting three counts of indecent exposure. He was already serving a whole-life term for the kidnap, rape and murder of Ms Everard.

The misconduct hearing is expected to last seven days.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Homeless Man Turns in Wallet with 2,000 Euros at Amsterdam Station
Apple Faces EU Charges Over Digital Markets Act Violation
Macron Warns of Civil War Risk as French Elections Approach
Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal
Chaotic Portugal Win Over Turkey at Euro 2024
Global Headlines: Hajj Heatwave Tragedy, Flynn's Family Enterprise, and Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Political Shifts in France, Legal Battles in the UK, and Public Protests in Israel
UK's Richest Family Convicted for Exploiting Servants
Hollande Declares End to Macron’s Political Ascendancy
Hindujas Appeal Swiss Court's Human Trafficking Verdict
Prince William Celebrates Birthday at Taylor Swift Concert
Singapore to Implement Screen Time Regulations for Children
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
×