The cop who was charged with the murder and kidnap of Sarah Everard in March has plead guilty to kidnap and rape.
Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, where he accepted responsibility for the killing of Sarah Everard, and plead guilty to kidnap and rape – but was not asked to enter a plea to a murder charge.
Couzens pleaded guilty to kidnapping Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on 3 March. He also pleaded guilty to a second charge of rape between 2 March and 10 March.
Couzens responded “Guilty, sir” when asked for his plea to the first two charges. The court heard that responsibility for the killing was admitted, but he wasn’t ask to plead to a murder charge.
Sarah Everard, 33, was reported missing by her boyfriend after she was walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on 3 March. The last known sighting of her was from someone’s doorbell footage, showing her walking alone at around 9.30pm.
There was a major police investigation, and her body was found a week later in woodland in Kent with a post mortem revealing she died from compression to her neck.
Sarah Everard’s death made world-wide headlines, and sparked a public outcry at the fact it wasn’t safe for her to walk home alone at night.
— Joan McAlpine (@JoanMcAlpine) March 13, 2021
The phrase “she was just walking home” began to trend on social media after her disappearance, with masses of women sharing their horror and outrage at what had happened, as well as the precautionary measures they constantly take in order to feel safe.
There were protests at the Parliament House, and Metropolitan police were criticised for their “disgraceful” handling of a vigil for her with the night ending in arrests and several women being led away in handcuffs.
Another hearing before Lord Justice Fulford is set to take place on 9 July.