The depraved Met Police officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard was handed over £20,000 to try and avoid a sentence to die in prison.

Wayne Couzens (48), who was fired from the force and now has to pay a huge amount of money for his defense against the horrific crimes.

Couzens – who owns a £225,000 home – admitted his offences and the legal aid paid for him to have well-respected silk Jim Sturman QC mitigating his case at his sentencing.

This amount could shock Miss Everard’s loved ones, who have been devastated by the crimes of her former Diplomatic Protection Officer.

Couzens cannot be sure where their money went because legal aid must be provided to those who are financially capable. 

He was still being paid his £33,000 police salary due to employment rules until he pleaded guilty to offences in July this year.

David Spencer, Centre for Crime Prevention researcher was shocked when MailOnline disclosed the price.

He stated that Wayne Couzens had admitted to the heinous crime of committing and was therefore rightly imprisoned for his life. He was a police officer and earned a decent salary. It is wrong for him to be allowed to take thousands of pounds from taxpayers in an attempt to lower his sentence.

“This latest example is part of a long line of instances in which legal aid has been misused to help convict criminals get out of prison.

“This isn’t what the system was intended for, and it’s not what taxpayers want. An evaluation of legal aid has been initiated, as we have been informed. This case demonstrates more than ever just how urgent reforms are needed.

Baron Mr Sturman, however, unsuccessfully claimed that the murderer sex offender shouldn’t die in prison after he was sentenced.

Couzens asked Lord Justice Fulford and the Old Bailey to create a tariff for the term, but they refused.

Wayne Couzens will die in jail serving whole life sentence for killing Miss Everard in March

Wayne Couzens, who was serving a life sentence for the March murder of Miss Everard will be executed in prison

Couzens had well-respected silk Jim Sturman QC mitigating his case at the Old Bailey

Couzens had Jim Sturman QC, an eminent silk specialist who helped to mitigate his case at The Old Bailey

Couzens, 48, carried out a fake Covid arrest to trap Miss Everard inside his hire car

Couzens (48) made a false Covid arrest in order to capture Miss Everard inside his hired car

Sturman argued that a 35-year tariff would mean the defendant could end up spending his entire life in prison.

“Most cases involving whole-life sentences were multiple killings.

MailOnline can reveal Couzens’s £20,122.75 of legal aid funded a solicitor when he was brought to London after his arrest to be questioned.

But the majority – £17,136 – went on barrister costs including at his sentencing, while £2,692.74 went on disbursements.

Couzens appealed against the whole-of-life tariff and it is expected that costs will rise further.

In October, a Court of Appeal official stated that he had received permission to appeal the sentence. 

Quizzed by police, Couzens (pictured in handcuffs) lied that he had been 'leant on' by an Eastern European gang who threatened to harm his family if he did not agree to pick up a woman

Couzens, who was handcuffed and quizzed by police after he claimed that he’d been ‘leant’ by Eastern European gangs. They threatened his family with harm if he didn’t agree to take a woman.

Couzens, 48, will die in jail as he serves a whole life sentence for killing Miss Everard in March

Couzens in his uniform

Couzens (48) was sentenced to a life-long prison term for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Miss Everard

“Nothing will bring her back” – but the fact that Couzens will spend his entire life in prison brings some relief. Sarah Everard’s response to Couzens’ death.

“We are pleased Wayne Couzens received a life sentence. He will be spending the rest of his time in prison. Sarah will never be the same again, and nothing can improve them. Knowing that Couzens will spend his entire life in jail brings us some comfort.

Sarah lost her life in a cruel and needless way. All her years of happiness were taken from her. Wayne Couzens was a trusted police officer. We are horrified and disgusted that he used this position to lure Sarah into her death. With him in prison, the world will be safer.

“It has been nearly seven months since Sarah’s death and the grief of her loss is overwhelming. We are so sorry for her loss. Her beauty and charm made her a wonderful young lady. Without her, our lives would be much more difficult. Sarah was a wonderful person. We will always remember her kindness and compassion, as well her intellect, and her social conscience. We remember Sarah laughing, dancing, and having fun. She is our safety net.

“We are extremely grateful to Sarah’s legal and police team. They were tireless and meticulous in their work, and we are grateful for all their support. Also, our deepest thanks go to our friends and family for all their comfort during this horrible time.

Couzens used Covid power to fake Miss Everard’s arrest as she walked from Clapham home to a Clapham friend in March.

The crime he committed was so terrible that it shocked the country and undermined the confidence of the police in the following hours.

Couzens executed the crime using his warrant card, handcuffs and his personal property. He had planned for the event at least one month prior to the March 3 abduction.

He was sentenced in September to a total life term. It was his first conviction for one murder that occurred outside of the context of terror attacks.

Couzens was jailed indefinitely for the murder of Miss Everard, and he is now facing a slew more claims.

He was known for driving around naked in his car from the waist down while he was serving with them in 2015.

Couzens is also suspected of having committed the exact same offense at McDonald’s a few days prior to his attack on Miss Everard.

She was handcuffed, placed in handcuffs and taken into his car. He then drove 80 miles to Kent and raped and killed her. He burned her corpse and dumped it near his land. 

A wave of criticism has hit the Met over missed chances to expose Couzens, a sexual predator who went on to kill Miss Everard.

Staff at Civil Nuclear Constabulary discovered that the 48-year old was nicknamed “The Rapist” because he made his female coworkers feel uncomfortable.

He was charged with indecent exposure in Kent, 2015, and London just before the murder of Ms Everard. However, he was allowed to work.

The Ministry of Justice spokesperson stated that anyone facing trial at a Crown Court is entitled to legal aid subject to strict financial requirements.

According to their financial situation, they may have to make contributions to cover the full cost of defense.