Thursday evening UK news briefing: Cressida Dick ‘so sorry’ over Sarah Everard murder

Dame Cressida Dick said she is "so sorry" to the family of Sarah Everard as she admitted the "precious bond of trust" with police had been damaged as former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to a whole-life term for the rape and murder of the 33-year-old marketing executive. 

The Commissioner, speaking outside the Old Bailey, said: "There are no words that can express the fury and overwhelming sadness that we all feel about what happened to Sarah." 

Dame Cressida is facing mounting pressure to resign, but the Home Secretary Priti Patel said they would "continue working" together, but that "serious questions" needed to be answered. 

The pressure comes after ministers were warned throughout the pandemic that Covid legislation gave police too much power over people’s personal freedoms. 

Watch the Commissioner’s statement outside court and keep abreast of reaction as Boris Johnson said he was "sickened" by what he heard during the sentencing.

As he summed up before issuing his sentence, Lord Justice Fulford said Couzens had offered no explanation for the murder of Miss Everard, who he snatched after using his police warrant card and handcuffs as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, in March. 

The firearms officer then drove to a secluded rural area near Dover in Kent, where he parked up and raped her, before killing her. Read how he plotted his unspeakable crime. 

The judge said: "You have irretrievably damaged the lives of Sarah Everard’s family, and eroded confidence in the police." 

Read the key sections of Lord Justice Fulford’s sentencing remarks as he set out why Couzens must never be freed from jail.

Women’s trust

In June, Dame Cressida acknowledged that "there’s a job to be done to improve trust and confidence in policing for women, right across London". 

And yet, in the same speech, Dick dismissed Couzens as an isolated "bad ‘un," asserting that the vast majority of police officers are intolerant of any bad behaviour from their colleagues. 

Yet between 2019 and 2020, 160 officers in the Met alone have been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct. 

Caroline Criado-Perez argues women will never trust the police until they admit Sarah Everard’s murderer was no isolated "bad ‘un".

Mothers’ reactions

Reading the words of Miss Everard’s mother, Susan, on the impact of her daughter’s death has been harrowing. 

Lord Justice Fulford’s sentencing remarks acknowledged them when he said how Susan, Jeremy and Katie Everard all spoke "with great dignity" which "revealed the true human impact of his warped, selfish and brutal offending".

Here, five mothers of daughters share their emotions and reactions to Susan’s words, asking: "If we can’t trust the police to protect our daughters, who can we trust?"

Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines

‘Not a U-turn’ | The Government has "woken up" to the looming cost of living crisis – but the "patchy" new benefit announced this morning will not prevent it, Tory MPs have warned. Iain Duncan Smith, the former leader and architect of Universal Credit, told the Telegraph the new £500m household support fund had been designed "so it doesn’t look like it is in any way a U-turn". Read on for concerns about the scheme.

  • Media | Ex-BBC presenter quits company over impersonation scandal
  • Sabina Nessa | Teacher was killed with 2ft-long weapon, court hears
  • Migrant crisis | France accuses UK of using fishing rights as leverage
  • ‘Went on the run’ | Nazi death camp secretary, 96, goes on trial
  • E-scooters | Gadgets injured nearly 60 pedestrians last year

Comment and analysis

  • Patrick O’Flynn | Labour’s Covid hypocrisy was on full display
  • Tom Harris | You haven’t heard the last of Andy Burnham
  • Annabel Fenwick Elliott | Masks on planes may never be scrapped
  • Melanie McDonagh | What’s wrong with calling women… women?
  • Stephen Armstrong | Angus Deayton should never return to HIGNFY

Around the world: Sarkozy given year’s house arrest

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been convicted and sentenced to a year of house arrest for illegal campaign financing of his unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid, six months after he was found guilty of corruption in a separate trial. Sarkozy, who spent nearly twice the legal limit on his failed bid for a second term in office, will be allowed to serve the sentence at home by wearing an electronic tag. He can appeal the decision, which would suspend the sentence. Read how the 66-year-old Right-winger pulled out all the stops in 2012 to try to fend off the ultimately victorious Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande.

Thursday big-read

Sir Bobby Robson ‘got his t— out for the lads’ – that empowered me

Gabby Logan is one of the most respected broadcasters in British sport

Credit: Andrew Timms

In an extract from the first anthology of women writing about football, Gabby Logan opens up about finding her voice in the beautiful game

Read the full story

Sport briefing: England squad – referee sexism row

Lots to get through from the world of football this evening. Fikayo Tomori, Ollie Watkins and Aaron Ramsdale have been recalled to the England squad as Harry Maguire and Trent Alexander-Arnold miss the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary through injury. Mark Clattenburg, the former international football referee, has been criticised for saying that aspiring female officials have to make a choice between their future careers and having children. Donny van de Beek’s frustration with his lack of football at Manchester United boiled over last night after he was seen throwing his chewing gum in anger at the dug-out. Thom Gibbs analyses how the club’s victory over Villarreal was vintage Cristiano Ronaldo – with wayward passing and no tackles.

Editor’s choice

  • ‘Geriatric millennial’ | Help! I’ve just turned 40 and don’t know what to wear
  • The false promise of artificial sweeteners | Are diet drinks making you gain weight?
  • Eyesores | The disastrous public art experiment that baffled 1970s Britain
  • Business briefing: Three rate rises expected next year

    Markets are bracing for three interest rate rises next year to stop runaway inflation as statisticians revealed the UK’s economic recovery was even faster than first thought. Investors have ramped up their bets on rises in borrowing costs and now expect the Bank of England’s base rate to return to its pre-pandemic level of 0.75pc by the end of 2022. Read how statisticians have been tweaking their estimates. This comes as empty supermarket shelves and queues at petrol stations sparked fears of 1970s-style stagflation. Russell Lynch and Tim Wallace analyse the key differences between now and that troubled decade.

    Tonight starts now

    Fifa 22, review | Much is made of player ratings in each edition of EA’s gaming behemoth but the recreation of their behaviour in matches has remained rather elusive. Here, then, is EA’s best attempt yet at contriving the kind of sequences you might see from your favourite mid-table Premier League winger as you watch Match of the Day. It is a more ‘realistic’ representation of the game but some off-field concerns remain.

    Three things for you

    • Watch | Don’t Exclude Me, BBC Two, 9pm and more of tonight’s TV
    • Podcast | Planet Normal: Robert Peston on identity politics
    • Play | Telegraph Puzzles offers today’s crossword, sudoko and more

    And finally… for this evening’s downtime

    Got the ‘worst cold ever’? | After the pandemic meant 18 months without our usual exposure to germs, an illness that we’d normally brush off is back with a vengeance. Alice Hall examines how so many have been struck down and reveals how to tackle a cold.

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