Pc Wayne Couzens, 48, pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard
Pc Wayne Couzens, 48, has pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard
The court heard Pc Couzens accepted responsibility for the killing of Ms Everard, 33, at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (8 June), but was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.
Kidnapped and raped
A post mortem last week revealed that marketing executive Ms Everard died from a compression of the neck, after she went missing in south London on 3 March.
The 33-year-old vanished while walking back to her home in Brixton from a friend’s house in Clapham.
She was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm on 3 March.
She was reported missing by her boyfriend on 4 March and her body was found a week later hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on 10 March.
Pc Couzens appeared in court via video link from Belmarsh jail and pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on 3 March.
The Metropolitan police officer also pleaded guilty to a second charge of rape between 2 and 10 March.
Pc Couzens was not asked to enter a plea to her murder between 2 and 10 March.
The defendant responded “guilty, sir” when asked for his plea to the first two charges.
The court heard that responsibility for the killing was admitted, but medical reports were awaited.
The family of Ms Everard were present in court to witness the defendant enter his pleas.
A further hearing before Lord Justice Fulford is due to take place on 9 July.
Unsafe streets for women
The murder of Ms Everard prompted an outpouring of anger and shock, with women across the UK sharing their own experiences of feeling unsafe on the streets.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan admitted the capital’s streets are not safe for women or girls, while Home Secretary Priti Patel said “every woman should feel safe to walk our streets without fear of harassment or violence”.
Local ‘community patrols’ were set up in the wake of the 33-year-old's death to help women feel safer in public, while Reclaim These Streets vigils were organised across the UK following the incident.