Police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

·2-min read

Watch: Police officer accepts responsibility for killing Sarah Everard

A police officer has pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard.

PC Wayne Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The court heard Couzens accepted responsibility for the killing of Ms Everard but was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.

He was charged with her murder and kidnap in March.

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on 3 March.

She was reported missing by her boyfriend on 4 March and her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on 10 March.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of serving police constable Wayne Couzens, making his first appearance at the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh top security jail in south London, where he is charged with the murder and kidnapping of Sarah Everard. Picture date: Tuesday March 16, 2021. The police officer is due to go on trial in the autumn for the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard. Pc Wayne Couzens, 48, is accused of snatching the 33-year-old marketing executive as she walked home from a friend�s flat in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.
A court artist sketch of PC Wayne Couzens, who has pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard. (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Sarah Everard disappeared on 3 March while walking home in Clapham, south London. (PA)
Sarah Everard disappeared on 3 March while walking home in Clapham, south London. (PA)

The Metropolitan Police officer was wearing khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt as he appeared by video link from Belmarsh prison.

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on 3 March.

He also pleaded guilty to a second charge of rape between 2 and 10 March.

Couzens was not asked to enter a plea to her murder between those dates.

The defendant said: “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.

People viewing floral tributes left at the bandstand in Clapham Common, London, for Sarah Everard. Pc Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at the Old Bailey in London charged with the kidnap and murder of the 33-year-old. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.
People viewing floral tributes left at the bandstand in Clapham Common, London, for Sarah Everard. (PA)

Members of Ms Everard’s family sat in court to witness the defendant enter his pleas.

A further hearing before Lord Justice Fulford is due to take place on 9 July.

Ms Everard's death led to large protests outside parliament, while the Metropolitan Police was criticised for its handling of a vigil in her memory that turned violent in Clapham Common.

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