KEY POINTS

  • Cop accepts responsibility of murdering Sarah Everard but has not entered a plea
  • Couzens is scheduled to appear in court on July 9 for hearing
  • Couzens is still serving as a police officer

A London Cop arrested in connection with the disappearance of a 33-year-old marketing executive, Sarah Everard, pleaded guilty to kidnap and rape charges. 

On Tuesday, Metropolitan Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty to kidnapping Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” in the central criminal court in London on Tuesday. Couzens has also accepted killing her but has not entered a plea on the charge of murder. Few members of Everard’s family were in court during the plea hearing. Couzens is scheduled to appear in court on July 9.

On March 3, Everard disappeared while walking home to Brixton from Clapham in south London after leaving a friend’s house, BBC reported. She was last seen alive on doorbell footage, talking on the phone with her partner while on her route. It prompted a wide search around Clapham and her body was eventually discovered 50 miles away from where she was last seen. 

Couzens, who joined the police force in 2018 and served as a uniformed patrol on diplomatic premises, was arrested from his home on kidnapping and murder charges. 

Post-mortem report released last week to the public showed Everard died from “compression of the neck”, reported The Guardian

Everard’s disappearance and consequent murder prompted a large social movement on women’s safety across the UK. Women on social media shared their fear about walking home late, the safety measures they take—including clutching keys between fingers like a claw and messaging loved ones about safely reaching home. 

The tension between the police and people grew further as police cracked down on a vigil held in remembrance of Everard where she was last seen. Attendees were heard chanting "Shame on you," "Arrest your own," and "Who do you protect?" to officers standing guard near the vigil.

Public fury reached a tipping point as officers broke up the vigil, arrested several attendees and walked on the flowers laid by people, reported CNN. The gathering treated as unlawful due to coronavirus restrictions by the police was also attended by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton

Everard’s family described her as “a shining example to us all” who brought them pride and joy, reported The Guardian.

Couzens is still serving as a police officer. 

London police are under pressure after they broke up a vigil for the woman on Saturday London police are under pressure after they broke up a vigil for the woman on Saturday Photo: AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS