Wayne Couzens loses appeal against life sentence | Wayne Couzens


Wayne Couzens is still set to die in jail after losing his bid for a reduced sentence in the appeals court.

In May, senior judges heard challenges or appeals to the prison sentences of five convicted murderers, including the life sentences of former police officer Couzens and double murderer Ian Stewart.

Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes, who killed six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, also had their sentences reviewed, along with triple murderer Jordan Monaghan.

On Friday, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, and four other judges refused to reduce Couzens’ sentence.

Last year the former officer was given a life sentence for the rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, the first time the sentence had been handed down for a single adult murder not committed during a terrorist act. offensive.

Appealing against the life sentence, Couzens’ lawyers argued that he deserved “decades in prison”, but that a life sentence was excessive.

However, in a summary read out in court, Lord Burnett said the sentencing judge was entitled to impose a life order on the facts of the Couzens case.

In the case of Arthur’s killers, the appeals court had already been told the child suffered insurmountable brain damage while in the sole custody of Tustin, who was jailed for life with a minimum sentence. 29 years old.

Tustin and Arthur’s father Hughes, who was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter, appealed the length of their sentences, which were also challenged as unduly lenient.

The judges declined to change Tustin’s sentence, finding that she should not receive a life sentence and that her current sentence was not unduly lenient. However, Hughes’ sentence was deemed unduly lenient and increased to 24 years.

Stewart, who murdered his wife six years before murdering his fiancée, successfully appealed against his life order.

He killed children’s author Helen Bailey, 51, in 2016 and was convicted of her murder in 2017. After that conviction, police investigated the 2010 death of Stewart’s wife, Diane Stewart, 47 years old, and in February he was convicted of her murder.

Amjad Malik QC, for Stewart, argued that the life order given to him for the murder of his wife was not justified in the circumstances of the case.

In a ruling on Friday, Lord Burnett and the other four justices said Stewart was ‘not one of the rare cases’ where a life order should be imposed, reducing his life sentence with a minimum sentence of 35 years. .

The judges also considered the sentence of Jordan Monaghan, who received a minimum sentence of 40 years at Preston Crown Court after murdering two of his children and his new partner.

The appeals court previously heard that between January 2013 and October 2016 he murdered three-week-old Ruby and 21-month-old Logan before murdering Evie Adams.

In Friday’s decision, the judges concluded that if a life order should not be imposed, the sentence should be increased to life with a minimum sentence of 48 years.

This article was amended on July 29, 2022 to remove the erroneous claim that Couzens’ conviction was the first time a life order was imposed for a single adult murder not committed during a terrorist attack. .

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