Judge who jailed Wayne Couzens praises team of detectives led by female chief inspector for 'most impressive police investigation in 30 years'
The judge who sentenced Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens to a full life term in prison has praised the Metropolitan Police detectives who built a case against him.
Lord Justice Fulford said that the investigation was the 'most impressive' he had come across in his judicial career and rejected any possibility that the force had 'closed ranks' after discovering Couzens himself was a serving Met officer.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who was singled out for commendation, has also told The Times of her 'complete shock' at discovering the identity of Sarah's abductor, saying she would 'never forget' the moment she found out.
In total DCI Goodwin's team of detectives analysed over 2,000 hours of CCTV footage in order to locate the breakthrough clip captured by a bus camera which showed Sarah standing next to Couzens' hire car.
The judge said the prosecution material was so thorough that it made any realistic attempt at a defence from Couzens' legal team unlikely.
In his sentencing remarks, Lord Justice Fulford commented: "This has been the most impressive police investigation that I have encountered in 30 years of sitting as a judge. The speed with which the evidence leading to the arrest of the defendant was secured is highly notable, as has been the painstaking reconstruction of these events using electronic material alongside more old-fashioned policing methods.
"It cannot be suggested in my view, even for a moment, that the Metropolitan Police 'closed ranks' to protect one of their own. Instead, remorselessly, efficiently and impartially the investigating officers followed all the available leads, resulting in an overwhelming case against the accused.
"Meriting particular mention are Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, Detective Kim Martin and Acting Detective Inspector Lee Tullett. Mr Tullett has been a key figure in the investigation and preparation of this case, going well beyond what would properly be expected of any police officer, and his role deserves high commendation."