Sarah Everard: Police officer pleads guilty to her murder

Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Everard, 33, after admitting to kidnapping and rape charges last month.

A Metropolitan police officer has pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Everard in a case that has shocked and angered many.

Wayne Couzens, 48, kidnapped Everard on the evening of March 3 as she was walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, South London.

Everard, 33, had been talking with her boyfriend on the phone when she was kidnapped. He reported her missing the next day and her body was found a week later in a woodland near Ashford, Kent, metres from a piece of land owned by Couzens.

Couzens previously pleaded guilty to kidnap and rape and accepted responsibility for Everard's death. He will be sentenced on 9 September.

Judge Lord Justice Fulford who will be sentencing the suspect said:

This has been a mammoth investigation which has produced some very significant results in terms of being able to understand what happened.

In cold blood

It has now emerged that Couzens had bought a roll of self-adhesive film on Amazon days before the murder.

At around 9:35 on the evening of 3 March, a bus camera appeared to capture the moment Everard was captured by Couzens as she walked home from a friend’s house while chatting to her boyfriend on the phone.

After kidnapping her, Couzens drove out of London, arriving in the area of Tilmanstone, near Deal, at 1am.

Investigators tracked the route of the car using CCTV and ANPR cameras and identified the driver as a serving officer through the car hire firm.

Couzens had used his personal details and bank card to make the booking, picking up the Vauxhall Astra on the afternoon of the abduction and returning it the next morning.

In the days that followed, Couzens reported that he was suffering from stress and did not want to carry a firearm any more, according to a case summary.

On 8 March, the day he was due on duty, he reported being sick.

The next day, police arrested Couzens at 7.50pm—39 minutes after he wiped the data from his mobile phone.

Shock and outrage

The Sarah Everard case has sparked nationwide protests over misogyny and violence against women.

Vigils were held to mark the murder of the marketing executive and to draw attention to women’s safety.

Last month, a parliamentary inquiry found that police erred in their handling of the protests which they said was in violation of COVID-19 restrictions at the time.

On Friday, five members of Ms Everard’s family were in court as her killer pleaded guilty to her murder.

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