Sarah Everard – a vulnerable lone woman betrayed by a figure of trust

“Kind, caring and beautiful”, Sarah Everard came to represent women everywhere who feel unsafe on the streets of Britain.

Lockdowns intensified the vulnerabilities of lone women who took to the streets on foot or bicycle rather than risk public transport during the Covid-19 crisis.

On March 3, the 33-year-old marketing executive had picked up a bottle of wine before visiting a friend in Clapham, south London, and later decided to walk two-and-a-half miles home.

The last time her boyfriend, Josh Lowth, spoke to her was in a 14-minute phone call after she set off.

Women’s safety campaign
A mural by Irish artist Emmalene Blake in Dublin’s city centre highlights concern over violence against women in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death (Niall Carson/PA

Her route through south London was tracked by CCTV and even a passing police car dashcam – yet none was able stop the unfolding horror.

As a serving police officer, Pc Wayne Couzens might have appeared to her as a trusted figure before the dreadful realisation of his true intent.

After Ms Everard was found dead in woodland in Kent, her family issued a statement, describing her as a “shining example”.

Sarah Everard death
Sarah Everard’s father, Jeremy (left), leaves the Old Bailey with other family members (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

They said: “Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister.

“She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable.

“She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all.

“We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.”

Mugshot of Pc Wayne Couzens
Mugshot of Pc Wayne Couzens after his arrest (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Amid the outpouring of shock and grief, women came together to share their experiences and push for more to be done to stem the tide of violence.

The Duchess of Cambridge was among those who paid their respects at a vigil on Clapham Common.

Ms Everard’s family sat in court at the Old Bailey when Couzens finally admitted the ultimate betrayal of trust as a police officer.

Rather than protect the public as he was duty-bound to do, he was responsible for her kidnap, rape and murder.