Met Police Officer Wayne Couzens has admitted to the kidnapping and rape of Sarah Everard, who went missing while walking home on March 3, accepting responsibility for her death but not entering a plea on the charge of murder.
Appearing at the UK’s Old Bailey court, Couzens, who was a serving police officer at the time he committed the crime, admitted he kidnapped and raped Everard. However, the court did not ask him to enter a plea on the charge of murder, as it is still awaiting medical reports, and so it only heard that he accepted responsibility for her death.
Several members of Everard’s family were in court to hear the 48-year-old former police officer respond “Guilty, sir” when asked by the judge to respond to the charges of kidnapping “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on March 3 and rape between March 3 and 10.
After a significant police investigation, 33-year-old Everard’s body was found hidden in woodland near Ashford, Kent, miles away from where she disappeared walking back from a friend’s house in Clapham, London.
A post-mortem examination conducted at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford found that Everard died from oppression of the neck, according to a statement released by the police last week.
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Couzens, who was only seen via video link from Belmarsh prison, where he is being held, will next appear in court on July 9.
Prior to his arrest, Couzens served as a uniformed officer in the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
The death of Everard sparked anger and outrage throughout the UK, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming that the government will provide more money for improved street lighting and plain-clothes police officers in pubs and clubs to “identify predatory and suspicious offenders.”
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