Wayne Couzens Pleads Guilty To The Kidnap And Rape Of Sarah Everard
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to the rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard.
The Metropolitan Police officer's trial was set for October but, appearing at the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday morning, Couzens accepted responsibility for the killing of Sarah.
He was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder at this time.
The disappearance of Sarah Everard sent shockwaves around the UK after the 33-year-old went missing as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on 3rd March.
A major police investigation was launched and her body was found a week later in woodland in Kent.
A post-mortem revealed that Sarah died from compression of the neck.
The news of her death, and the subsequent arrest of serving Police Officer Wayne Couzens, led to national outcry and questions about women's safety in the UK.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement at the time: "I am deeply saddened by the developments in the Sarah Everard investigation. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Sarah, her family and her friends at this unbearable time.
"Many women have shared their stories and concerns online since Sarah's disappearance last week. These are so powerful because each and every woman can relate. Every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets without fear of harassment or violence.
"At this deeply sad and tragic time as we think and pray for Sarah and her family, I continue through my role to do all I can to protect women from violence and harassment."
The Metropolitan Police were also on the receiving end of criticism for the way they handled their response to a vigil to Sarah in Clapham Common.
While the vigil was cancelled by its organisers after it was deemed unlawful due to coronavirus lockdown measures, thousands of people still showed up in Clapham Common to pay their respects to Sarah.
Pictures of women being manhandled by police officers for attending the event led to widespread backlash.