Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard death: Pc Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to kidnap and rape

A British police officer on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of a woman whose disappearance as she walked home sparked outrage and a national debate about women's safety.

The news was broken by Channel 4 correspondent, Minnie Stephenson.

Ms Everard disappeared on March 3 while walking in Clapham, south London, prompting an extensive police search in the area.

The Old Bailey heard Couzens, 48, 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 March 3. Her body was later found in woodland around 50 miles away in southeast England.

However, the police officer pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping the London woman, the local media reported on Tuesday.

Couzens responded "Guilty, sir" when asked for his plea to the first two charges.

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

Reading the indictment to Couzens, the clerk of the court said: "You are charged that on Mar 2, 2021, you unlawfully and by force or fraud took or carried away Sarah Everard against her will".

A medical report, due on July 9, is being prepared on Couzens' mental welfare before a plea is entered.

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. There is no suggestion anyone else was involved.

Miss Everard's death became a cause celebre for feminists demanding more protection for women.

However, the London police were criticised for the way the unit mishandled a vigil that was organised for Everard.



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