Wayne Couzens Pleads Guilty To Murder Of Sarah Everard
Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard via video link to the Old Bailey.
Everard went missing while walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, South London on March 3. A search for Everard began after her boyfriend reported her missing the following day.
On March 9, Couzens was arrested after Sarah’s body was discovered and formally identified through dental records. Her body was found in a woodland area in Kent, 30 miles away from where she was last seen. In June, police revealed the marketing executive was killed by ‘compression of the neck.’
Couzens, 48, from Deal in Kent, accepted responsibility for Everard’s death on June 8. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to her kidnap and rape.
The Metropolitan Police officer, who worked on the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, has now pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey via video link from Belmarsh high-security jail.
It has been confirmed that Couzens had booked a Vauxhall Astra hire care and bought a roll of self-adhesive film days before the murder. Couzens then went on to kidnap Everard in Balham while he was off-duty, before driving her out of London.
Investigators managed to track the route of the car by using CCTV and ANPR cameras. The authorities then found out that the driver was a serving officer through the car hire firm. This was because Couzens had used his personal details and bank card when booking the car.
In the following days, Couzens reported he was suffering from stress and no longer wanted to carry a firearm as part of his work, according to a case summary. On March 8, Couzens then missed work claiming he was sick.
When originally arrested, Couzens detailed a strange story, alleging he had been told to kidnap a woman by Eastern European men who had threatened him after underpaying a prostitute. In fact, Couzens claimed he delivered Everard to them in a layby in Kent. The police officer has since abandoned this narrative.
The kidnap and murder of Everard led to widespread protests about the dangers women face. Many pointed out that Everard had taken precautions to keep herself safe, including speaking to her partner and staying on well-lit streets. Nonetheless, she was still the victim of a horrific attack.
In the wake of today’s guilty plea, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has apologised to the Everard family and said that the police are ‘sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes’.
Addressing them, Dick expressed how ‘very sorry [she was] for their loss, for their pain and their suffering’, Metro Online reports.
She concluded, ‘No words can adequately express the profound sadness and anger and regret everyone in the Met what happened to Sarah.’
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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