UK cop admits raping and killing Sarah Everard after kidnapping her
A British cop on Tuesday admitted to raping and killing Sarah Everard after snatching her as she walked home in London.
Wayne Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey courthouse on Tuesday to kidnapping and raping the 33-year-old marketing executive whose death in March sparked a national awakening over women’s safety.
“Responsibility for the killing is also admitted,” his attorney, Jim Sturman, told the court, although Couzens has yet to be asked to enter a plea on a murder charge as medical reports are still being prepared.
Everard’s family was in the London court Tuesday as the Metropolitan Police officer entered his pleas via videolink from Belmarsh Prison.
The father of two from Deal in Kent responded “guilty, sir” to the charge of kidnapping Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on March 3, and then also raping her after her disappearance.
The officer — who worked for Scotland Yard’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit — sat with his head bowed throughout the 20-minute hearing, London’s Evening Standard said.
He was remanded in custody until his next hearing, on July 9, when the murder charge is expected to be addressed, the Standard said. A provisional trial had been set for October.
Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4 after she had visited a friend in Clapham in south London. Grainy CCTV footage showed her walking home before she was snatched by Couzens.
Her body was found a week later in woodland in Kent, more than 50 miles from where she was taken.
The Metropolitan Police said last week that a post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as “compression of the neck”.
Everard’s disappearance and killing caused a nationwide outcry, with women sharing experiences of being threatened or attacked — or simply facing the everyday fear of violence when walking alone.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was among many who left flowers at a vigil for Everard, one that later sparked uproar over aggressive police tactics.
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