Samantha Lee was found to have been deceived when she claimed she believed that CCTV footage of Couzens exposing himself to two women at a McDonald’s restaurant would be deleted automatically.
A former officer of the Metropolitan Police says she has received hundreds of hate messages since being banned from policing due to her management of two incidents of Wayne Couzens flashing.
A disciplinary tribunal determined that Samantha Lee did not conduct “the correct investigative inquiries” into the offenses in which Couzens exposed himself to female employees at a McDonald’s restaurant in Kent in late February 2021.
The two incidents occurred just days before his kidnapping, raping, and murder of Sarah Everard.
Her failure to conduct a thorough investigation and her lying about her actions were deemed to be egregious acts of misconduct, resulting in her exclusion from all future police forces.
Ms. Lee, 29, stated that she felt “completely blamed” for Ms. Everard’s death. And that she had received messages stating that she should have been abducted and murdered.
She stated, “I believe I’m viewed as a horrible individual who allowed a truly abhorrent crime to occur. And I’m being treated as though I’m just as culpable as Couzens.
However, there was nothing I could have done to alter the outcome.
I am not seeking any sympathy. All I want is for people to recognize that there was nothing I could have done.
“It has been a case of ‘let’s enter at the bottom’ as opposed to ascending higher at the top.
Wayne Couzens should be held solely responsible for this heinous, heinous, and horrendous offense.
The tribunal heard that on 3 March 2021, she was dispatched to the McDonald’s in Swanley to interview manager Sam Taylor just hours before Couzens abducted Ms. Everard from Clapham, southwest London.
Ms. Lee stated that she believed the restaurant’s CCTV was deleted automatically. So there would be no footage of Couzens committing the crime. However, Mr. Taylor showed her the footage and said it could be stored on a USB disc.
He told her Couzens’ licence plate was apparent in the second incident’s CCTV film.
Ms. Lee stated, following the verdict, that she had been made a “scapegoat.” Adding, “I am a young female PC and I am the only one who has been disciplined about this.”
There is only one person culpable for everything that occurred, and that person is Wayne Couzens.
“I have never lied.”
Couzens was sentenced to 19 months in prison in March of this year for three counts of indecent exposure – two at McDonald’s and one in November 2020 in Kent where he exposed himself to a female cyclist.
For what he did to Ms. Everard, he was already serving a life sentence when he was sentenced.