London police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

  • London police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

London police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

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

Couzens pleaded guilty to kidnapping Everard "unlawfully and by force or fraud" on 3 March.

A BRITISH POLICE officer has accepted responsibility for killing Sarah Everard, a court heard.

Wayne Couzens, 48, from Deal in Kent was arrested and charged with her kidnap and murder in March, and a trial was set for October.

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.

Ms Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing in Clapham, south London, on 3 March.

"Count three, the count of murder, has not been put to the defendant because medical reports are awaited in relation to that allegation - although the defendant accepts responsibility for the killing".

Lord Justice Adrian Falford said: "The defendant has pleaded guilty today to counts one and two of the indictment, the kidnap of Sarah Everard and the rape of Sarah Everard".

He spoke clearly when asked to enter his pleas.

A major police investigation was launched and her body was found a week later in woodland in Kent.

The next hearing is due to take place on 9 July.

Sarah, originally from York, went missing while walking home to Brixton after visiting a friend.

At the beginning of this month, a post-mortem revealed she had died as a result of compression of the neck.

Human remains were discovered a week later next to a defunct leisure and golf complex, with dental records confirming the body belonged to Miss Everard.

Couzens worked in the police's Diplomatic Protection Unit and carried a firearm during the course of his work.

After his arrest, he was twice rushed to hospital after suffering head injuries in his cell.

Everard's death sparked a new conversation about male violence against women in the United Kingdom, including a vigil where police were criticized for heavy-handed tactics.