Pc Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to murder of Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard

A week after she disappeared – Ms Everard’s body was found in a woodland stream in Ashford

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A Metropolitan Police officer has pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Everard in a case that has caused widespread shock and outrage.

Wayne Couzens, 48, kidnapped Ms Everard in a hire car as she walked home alone from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.

The sexual predator, who had clocked off from a 12-hour shift that morning, went on to rape and strangle the 33-year-old marketing executive.

Police launched an urgent inquiry after Ms Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend Josh Lowth.

Couzens, a firearms-trained parliamentary and diplomatic protection officer, wiped his phone just minutes before he was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, on March 9.

The following day – a week after she disappeared – Ms Everard’s body was found in a woodland stream in Ashford, Kent, just metres from land owned by Couzens.

The killing has sparked protests at the rate of violence against women.

Police were criticised over the manhandling of women at a vigil for Ms Everard attended by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Last month, Couzens pleaded guilty to Ms Everard’s kidnap and rape.

On Friday, five members of her family were in court as he pleaded guilty to her murder when he appeared at the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh high security jail.