Former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to Sarah Everard’s murder (Image: UkNewsinPictures)

Get email updates with the day’s biggest stories

Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign upWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice

Born in Dover in 1973, Couzens did not join the police until later in life.

He spent 20 years working at his family's garage business, BCB Dover.

Following his arrest in March, officers were seen carrying out a search on the cliffs in Dover, close to where the Couzens family ran the business.

Specialist search teams examined the entrance to a network of tunnels and shelters under the derelict building.

When the garage shut in 2015, Couzens said of his dad: "He would have really loved one of us to take over but he totally understands. Things have to come to an end. I am devastated. It's a huge part of our lives. A family institution."

Couzens worked in the garage while serving as a Territorial Army reservist and working as a special bobby with Kent police.

After taking part in a TA weekend in 2002, Couzens, then 29, was quoted as saying: "We came along for the challenge and adventure."

Couzens appeared to the outside word as a respectable member of society
(Image: Kent Messenger/SWNS)

In 2004, he was reported to have "excelled at a battalion-run driving course" which he passed with "flying colours achieving Top Student status".

He was reportedly a private with C Company, 3rd Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Volunteer).

Couzens is believed to have begun his police career with Kent where he became a special sergeant based in Folkestone.

He first trained as a firearms officer when he joined the Civil Nuclear Constabulary in 2011 protecting the Dungeness power station in Kent.

For a short period he joined the Strategic Escort Group, a specialist team who travel by road and sea around the world armed with Heckler and Koch G36 rifles protecting nuclear material in transit.

Sarah Everard was kidnapped as she was walking home from her friend's house in Clapham, south London
(Image: EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

He underwent demanding training courses with the Royal Navy and “specialist agencies” learning how to use a number of weapons including machine guns.

A CNC spokeswoman said no complaints were made about Couzens while he was at the organisation and it is not known why he left to join the Met in September 2018.

His first posting in London was covering the Bromley region south of the river before joining the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February last year on uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises, mainly embassies.

A police van carrying Couzens leave court in London earlier this year
(Image: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

He lived in a top floor flat in Folkestone for around three years.

His landlady Shannette Roy, 74, said: “He had only just qualified as a policeman and was working in Dover. He was a nice fellow. The only thing I found strange was when he said he was going over to Ukraine to get his wife and he brought her back. She didn't speak very good English.”

Mrs Roy added: “He loved being a police officer. He was just normal, kept the place tidy and paid his rent on time.”

Couzens bought the home he shared with his wife and two primary school aged children in Deal in 2015.

His wife posted photographs on her open Facebook page of the family's holiday to Ukraine and Dubai.

An uncle of Mr Couzens, Kevin Fowle, of Chatham, Kent, said after his arrest: “He's never done anything untoward. He is a fine upstanding man.”