He is paid at least £33,000 per annum for his role in Scotland Yard's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit.
The issue of women's safety was again in the news across the world recently after the murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard, 33, in the UK. Soon after, there were attacks on women who worked in spas in Atlanta, USA as well. These horrific events have, once again, made the writing on the wall about violence against women clearer for everyone to see.
To add insult to injury, it has now been found that Wayne Couzens, 48, the police officer accused of killing Sarah, who was just walking home, will still be receiving his salary while he awaits trial. He is paid at least £33,000 per annum for his role in Scotland Yard's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit, according to Daily Mail. He will continue to draw salary if he pleads not guilty even though he has been suspended from duty by the Metropolitan Police Service. The father-of-2 was charged on March 12.
However, Wayne drawing his salary while being suspended is not out of the norm. It is standard protocol for officers under suspicion to get paid until they are dismissed since it is presumed that they are innocent. A Police Federation spokesperson added, "The situation for police is in some ways not different to any other employee who has been arrested and charged for offences. They would continue to be paid until the disciplinary process is invoked, the speed of which would be down to the employer. While instant dismissal without pay doesn't exist within policing, a Fast Track Disciplinary process does exist along with the ability for pension forfeiture, which doesn't exist outside of policing."
His plea hearing will be on July 9 and a provisional trial date has been set for October 25. If he pleads not guilty, then the verdict won't be reached until late November, as per Metro UK.
He was seen with a large injury on his head and a black left eye when he made an appearance in court on March 16. The court was told that he had been off duty at the time of the attack having finished his shift at least nine hours before Sarah went missing on March 3. She was walking home from a friend's flat in Clapham, south London, at around 9:00 pm when she went missing.
Prosecutor Tom Little, QC, told the court, "There's been a very significant and wide-ranging investigation. The position is that Sarah Everard was walking home a distance of some two and a half miles - if she had made it home - at 9 o'clock on the evening of March 3. The defendant had finished his last shift earlier that day, in fact that morning." He added that the case has received "almost unprecedented media and public attention."
There was a huge gathering of women in Clapham a day after Wayne was arrested. However, things went wrong at the protest site as police started arresting women and forced them out of the area. There were calls for Metropolitan Police's commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to be fired. The Met was accused of oppressing women at the protest, according to BBC.
Everard's family was told that the initial post-mortem didn't reveal the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing. Her family was present at the inquest where it was said that the 33-year-old was found in woods just outside Ashford in Kent, according to The Guardian. The initial post mortem didn't reveal a "medical cause of death" and now, pathologists will make further examinations. They confirmed there was "no natural disease that would have caused her death."
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