The family of Sarah Everard have said their lives have “changed forever” and they “miss her all he time” in a tribute one year on from her murder.
Ms Everard, 33, was kidnapped, raped and murdered in south London on 3 March 2021 by a serving Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens.
He had used his warrant card and handcuffs to kidnap the 33 year-old marketing executive as she walked home, using Covid lockdown rules as the premise for a false arrest.
Couzens was handed a whole-life jail term for her murder in September.
In a statement released through the Metropolitan Police, her family said they have been “overwhelmed” by the public’s support since her death, saying it has provided some comfort through a difficult time.
They said: “It is a year since Sarah died and we remember her today, as every day, with all our love.
“Our lives have changed forever and we live with the sadness of our loss. Sarah was wonderful and we miss her all the time.
“Over the past year we have been overwhelmed with the kindness shown to us, not just by family and friends, but by the wider public.
“We are immensely grateful to everyone for their support, it has meant such a lot to us and has comforted us through this terrible time.
“Sadly, Sarah is not the only woman to have lost her life recently in violent circumstances and we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to other families who are also grieving.”
Government inquiry into the murder
Since Ms Everard’s death, a non-statutory inquiry has been launched, led by Dame Elish Angiolini, who is looking at how Couzens was able to work as a police officer for three different forces despite concerns over his behaviour.
Following this, there are plans for a second part that would look at wider issues in policing.
The Met has also commissioned its own review of the culture and standards at the force, including Couzen’s former unit, the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
The past year has seen a number of high profile alleged stranger murders of women in addition to Ms Everard’s case.
These include the deaths of PCSO Julia James and teachers Sabina Nessa and Ashling Murphy.
Another case saw labourer Valentin Lazar, 21, jailed for life for beating 45-year-old Maria Rawlings to death after a chance meeting on a bus.
Walk in tribute to victims of gendered violence
On Thursday (3 March) evening, a walk organised by The Urban Angels will take place in south west London, which the group said is in memory of “victims of gendered violence.”
The Urban Angels aims to make society safer for women and non-binary people, and said the walk is a “chance for us all to stand in solidarity and show that we both demand and support change.”
The event will begin at Clapham North underground station at 7pm and will finish at the Clapham Common bandstand, near where Ms Everard went missing and the location of a socially distanced vigil held in her memory last year.
A statement from the Met released on the anniversary said: “Our thoughts are with Sarah Everard’s family and loved ones.
“One year on we remain deeply disgusted and shamed that a Met police officer was responsible for Sarah’s appalling murder.”
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