A erstwhile serviceman who botched an enquiry into Wayne Couzens hours earlier helium kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard has said she has been made a scapegoat for the situation engulfing the Metropolitan police.
Samantha Lee was recovered blameworthy of gross misconduct and barred from policing for beingness by a disciplinary sheet connected Wednesday.
The 29-year-old said the Met had thrown her nether the autobus alternatively than tackle the organization and vetting failures that allowed Couzens to perpetrate a bid of enactment crimes earlier murdering Everard. She said the unit needed to respond to intersexual offences reports much rapidly and connection officers grooming connected indecent vulnerability to forestall aboriginal scandals.
“I deliberation it’s wholly unfair that this lawsuit has been enactment connected maine erstwhile determination was a accidental to halt Couzens truthful overmuch earlier,” Lee said. “They’ve thrown maine nether the autobus truthful the Met tin accidental ‘we’ve done thing now’ and they’ll determination on.”
Couzens, 50, was reported to constabulary connected 28 February 2021 aft doubly exposing himself to pistillate unit astatine a drive-through McDonald’s successful Kent. But determination was a three-day hold successful assigning Lee to the lawsuit due to the fact that of the Met’s transgression triaging process which assessed the offence arsenic debased risk.
Lee carried retired a “sloppy” probe erstwhile she visited the edifice astatine midday connected 3 March, 9 hours earlier Couzens abducted Everard, 33, successful Clapham, south-west London. The sheet concluded she lied erstwhile she claimed she had been told determination was nary CCTV of Couzens’ car.
Lee has go the archetypal serviceman publically taken to task implicit Couzens, who was archetypal reported to Kent constabulary for indecent vulnerability successful June 2015. He escaped being identified arsenic a enactment offender contempt constabulary having the registration of a car helium had allegedly utilized to flash a pedestrian, arsenic good arsenic his sanction and address.
Lee said: “Everyone’s conscionable coming down connected maine – ‘Oh, this is connected you.’ But it’s not maine that went to the McDonald’s 4 days later, that’s the triaging strategy that organises that. It’s not maine that vetted Couzens and fto him into the constabulary successful the archetypal spot erstwhile he’d already been known for [allegedly] committing that benignant of offence.
“Everyone’s dropping it down connected maine arsenic a young pistillate PC, and [not] each the apical brass and men who are higher up who person enactment the rules successful spot for this to each hap arsenic it did, regarding the appointments, and the existent policies and the processes.”
While nether probe for the failings, Lee acceptable up an OnlyFans relationship called Officer Naughty and discontinue the force. She present earns up to £7,000 a period posting pornographic videos and images connected the site.
Lee maintains that she did not prevarication oregon cognize she was successful complaint of the lawsuit until aft Couzens’s apprehension for murder.
She said the unit needed to streamline its systems for tracking cases, present machine checks to find retired if a fishy was a constabulary officer, and alteration the mode it triaged 999 calls. “I don’t deliberation an assignment should beryllium made for intersexual offences due to the fact that arsenic we each know, generally, intersexual offences escalate,” she said. “This could person each been avoided I deliberation if idiosyncratic had been sent retired that time connected the 28th erstwhile the telephone was primitively made.”
She said she had ne'er received grooming connected indecent vulnerability and had lone responded to 3 cases successful 5 years of frontline policing. “I deliberation they should prosecute much constabulary and enactment much clip into grooming intersexual offences, definitely, due to the fact that I’ve had nary input ever connected however to woody with indecent exposure,” she said.
She said her deficiency of grooming meant she did not realise the value of Couzens’s repast receipts and written statements from the McDonald’s witnesses, which she did not log. Lee described this nonaccomplishment arsenic a “genuine mistake”, saying: “I privation that I had done a amended job.”
But Lee said she did not consciousness blameworthy due to the fact that adjacent if she had conducted a much thorough probe determination would not person been grounds to apprehension Couzens immediately. “I’ve gone implicit it truthful galore times successful my head, I tin guarantee you, and there’s thing that I could person done that would person changed the horrendous outcome,” she said.
“I bash consciousness similar Sarah was fto down by the constabulary massively due to the fact that Couzens should ne'er person been successful a presumption wherever helium was capable to usage who helium was to bash what helium did. And I deliberation what Sarah’s household has gone done is perfectly atrocious and I would not privation that connected anybody.”
Lee grew up successful Bromley, south-east London, and was educated astatine location aft superior schoolhouse and obtained nary GCSEs. She joined the Met arsenic a constable successful April 2016 aft undertaking a Certificate successful Knowledge of Policing.
In July 2020 she transferred to an exigency effect squad successful Bromley wherever Couzens had been based until February that year. Lee said had the lawsuit been allocated to a antithetic serviceman they mightiness person known him.
In fact, a main superintendent who gave grounds astatine Lee’s tribunal had conducted Couzens’s exit interrogation successful January 2020. Lee said the officer’s connection – which was not work astatine her tribunal – included what she described arsenic a “bizarre” astir “character reference” for Couzens.
She claimed the serviceman described the interrogation successful which Couzens spoke astir wanting to transportation to a firearms unit, saying: “He did not travel crossed to maine arsenic weird oregon a weapon seed but was interesting, keen and engaged. I mostly had bully instincts astir radical and helium seemed similar an amiable, absorbing individual.”
Lee said: “I’m 1 of the lone radical that didn’t cognize who helium was, and I’m the 1 that’s been stuck connected for it.”
The Met’s lawman adjunct commissioner Stuart Cundy said: “The intent of the gross misconduct proceeding was not to determine whether Wayne Couzens’s aboriginal offending could person been prevented … Fundamentally, I americium atrocious that Couzens was not arrested earlier helium went connected to execution Sarah Everard and we proceed to deliberation of her loved ones.”