'I pray Everard family's words sear into Couzens's soul and shame him'

JAN MOIR: I pray Sarah Everard’s family got some succour from their eloquence… One can only hope their words seared into Wayne Couzens’s soul and shame him until the day he dies

Last night I had a nightmare about Wayne Couzens. 

I’m sure I am not the only woman to be chilled to the bone by this man who is, according to his victim’s mother, ‘the worst of humanity’.

The kind of monster who frightens women out of their wits, with good reason. 

Home alone, heart pounding, I got up to secure the doors and windows, then checked to see he wasn’t hiding in the bathroom.

Irrational, of course, but midnight fears have no logic. Couzens is the new urban bogeyman, an ogre cloaked in the police identity that gave him power over defenceless Sarah Everard.

In my dream he was prowling the streets of the neighbourhood, hunched over the steering wheel, boiling eyes scouring the empty Covid pavements for a victim.

Inside the rented car, his rape kit was ready, his boot already lined with protective polythene.

There is little respite for the Everard family in the long road that stretches ahead without Sarah (pictured)

The awful thing is that this dream was rooted in cold reality. For Couzens did indeed prowl near my home, near where I live now and also where I used to live in Clapham, when I was about the same age as Sarah. 

But it doesn’t need a geographical link to chain us all together in united horror.

Before Couzens was sentenced this week, Miss Everard’s family read their victim impact statements as he sat shaking in the dock, a snivelling coward refusing to meet their gaze. 

Their eloquence was moving, the depth of their grief awful to behold.

Her mother spoke of how every night, at the exact moment Sarah was abducted, she silently screams: ‘Don’t get in the car, run for your life.’ This is not just wrenching, but unforgettable,

Before, I have always been rather against these victim impact statements, arguing that the kind of emotions they unpeel have no place in a British courtroom. 

It was an idea copied from America and introduced by Harriet Harman when she was minister for constitutional affairs back in 2006; a development that tried to make the legal process an ‘inclusive’ experience for victims and their loved ones.

I still have my doubts, to be honest. Should there be a layer of emotional justice piped into any trial? 

Jan Moir: Her mother spoke of how every night, at the exact moment Sarah was abducted, she silently screams: ‘Don’t get in the car, run for your life.’ This is not just wrenching, but unforgettable (Pictured: Sarah’s family)

Jan Moir: After reading the statements of father Jeremy Everard, mother Susan and sister Katie, it would feel like another cruelty too far to deny them this moment to confront this killer (Pictured: floral tribute to Sarah in Clapham)

These statements are not supposed to sway a judge regarding the tariff he or she imposes, but judges are only human, too. 

To suggest they will always remain immune to suffering, especially when it is movingly expressed, is unrealistic.

My worry about impact statements is that it gives an advantage to the articulate and educated over those whose statements can only ever be plodding and mundane, despite the fact that all parties feel the same depth of bereavement and loss.

However, after reading the statements of father Jeremy Everard, mother Susan and sister Katie, it would feel like another cruelty too far to deny them this moment to confront this killer.

There is little respite for the Everard family in the long road that stretches ahead without Sarah. 

Wayne Couzens (pictured) is the new urban bogeyman, an ogre cloaked in the police identity that gave him power over defenceless Sarah Everard

For them there is no comfort, only loss. Along with the mental torture when thinking about the manner of her death and how she suffered.

So if they take a tiny bit of succour from being able to confront Couzens, if there is a glimmer of closure in being able to express their feelings in front of the monster who destroyed not just Sarah’s life, but theirs, too — then I am glad.

Perhaps victim impact statements have their place after all, especially if they can bring a drop of peace in an ocean of grief.

The dignity and eloquence of the Everard family was as awful to behold as it was inspiring. 

One can only hope their words seared into Wayne Couzens’s soul and shame him until the day he dies.

Lame Dame fails again…

As always, Cressida Dick failed to rise to the occasion. Outside the Old Bailey the Met Chief refused to resign but admitted the now-sacked PC Couzens had ‘brought shame on the Met’ and damaged the ‘precious bond of trust’ between the public and police.

As a policeman’s daughter, I know how devastated all good police officers everywhere will be feeling at this dreadful crime. 

But the clammy emphasis the Met are putting on Couzens being an ‘ex’ police officer does them no credit.

He was not just a serving police officer when he murdered Sarah Everard, he used his police status as the key part of his crime. 

If Sarah’s family have managed to face that terrible reality, then so must Cressida Dick. 

Don’t hijack her murder… 

Surely the last thing the Everard family want is for Sarah’s death to be hijacked and turned into a circus or a cause by feminist groups such as Reclaim These Streets. 

It goes without saying that the murder or assault of a woman is a terrible crime, but it is still thankfully rare.

The uncomfortable truth is that far more men than women are killed on the streets of London. 

And most of them are young black men killed (or attacked) by other young black men, usually with knives.

All of us — men, women, potential victims — would be much safer if the police were allowed to stop and search suspects at random. But that is not a very fashionable cause, is it?

007 Daniel is a pink rocker

Once again The Girls gather to discuss the hot button issue of the week: Daniel Craig’s pink dinner jacket. For it or against it, ladies?

Claire (She Who Knows Best) was straight in. ‘Anyone as short as Daniel should not be colour blocking. It makes him look like a midget,’ she declared. 

Sally started crying. ‘DANIEL IS MINE!’ — typically off topic from the start.

Morwen thought the jacket made Daniel look like a bingo caller on a Saga cruise ship, which just made Sally cry even more. 

Victoria was even worse. ‘Tintin’s Grandpa,’ was her verdict, but she is very young. She doesn’t understand.

Once again The Girls gather to discuss the hot button issue of the week: Daniel Craig’s pink dinner jacket. For it or against it, ladies?

I mean fuchsia pink! Double-breasted. Darling little matching buttons. At first I thought it a little Hi-de-Hi. 

Then I thought it more, helloooooo. We all agreed it was bold and superbly tailored, giving our man the air of a velvet carving.

Morwen wondered if the sleeves were too short and did it do Dan justice? She Who Knows Best flipped open a file called Daniel’s Bond Premiere Looks From 2006 — 2021 and we silently pored over the shots. 

My favourite is the classic black tux he wore for Spectre in 2015, complete with Remembrance poppy. Spy-high patriotic chic!

The conclusion? We are kissing the pink, but going back to black. ‘I liked him best in his budgies,’ wails Sally. Doesn’t she get it? This is No Time To Cry.

He’s probably not your favourite person, nor mine, but let us spare a kindly thought for Boris Johnson. 

Over the past year or so, the PM nearly died of Covid, moved his girlfriend into No 10, became a father for the sixth time, got married and mourned the death of his mother. 

God knows how he keeps going, but hats off to him for struggling onwards. And upwards. Hopefully. 

Here’s my toast of love to Posh grub 

Jan Moir: Posh Spice (pictured) says her favourite meal is salt on toast and I am right there with her

Posh Spice says her favourite meal is salt on toast and I am right there with her. 

Oooh, I love a hunk of sourdough, toasted on the grill, rubbed with a clove of garlic, splashed with a nice olive oil and seasoned with a big grind of salt. Delicious! 

Although I image that Posh’s version is rather more anaemic than mine. 

She also said she only eats steamed vegetables and is a chef’s ‘worst nightmare’. 

So many girls look up to Posh — should she be more responsible when it comes to her comments about food? 

There are a great many dishes and diets a million times worse than steamed veg and toast.

It’s nice to know that we have something in common at last — which is we’ve both got appetites like birds.

The problem is that she’s a darling starling — and I’m a vulture.  

Blue plaque for a golden time 

English Heritage has stuck a blue plaque on the block of flats Princess Diana lived in BC — Before Charles. 

The three-bedroom apartment in Colherne Court, West London, was bought by her parents for £50,000 in 1979 and gifted to Diana as a coming-of-age present.

Worth just under £2 million today, it bears testament to the carefree times when Diana was just another posh gel working as a nanny in West London.

Blue plaque appears on the three-bedroom apartment in Colherne Court, West London, was bought by Princess Diana’s parents for £50,000 in 1979 and gifted to her as a coming-of-age present

There is something so sad about it all. She moved out from here the night before her engagement in 1981, full of hopes and dreams. Sixteen years later, she was dead.

So it is cheering to remember her at this point, during a time of untroubled innocence, when she was Chief Chick to her three roommates. 

‘It was one of the happiest times of my life,’ she said later. 

That’s the problem with good times. By the time you realise they are golden, they’re gone.

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