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Old Bailey

Police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

Wayne Couzens accepted responsibility for the killing of Ms Everard but was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.

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

PC Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at the Old Bailey this morning, when he pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard.

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.

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3.

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

Prosecutor Tom Little QC said at a previous court hearing that the circumstances of the case had led to a “very significant and wide-ranging investigation”.

Ms Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4.

Her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on March 10.

She was discovered inside a large builder’s bag and was formally identified through her dental records.

Couzens, who worked on the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, had finished a shift earlier on the morning of March 3 and was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard’s disappearance.

The Metropolitan Police officer was wearing khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt as he appeared by video link from Belmarsh jail.

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on March 3.

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

Couzens was not asked to enter a plea to her murder between March 2 and 10.

The defendant said: “Guilty, sir” when asked for his plea to the first two charges.

The court heard that responsibility for the killing was admitted but medical reports were awaited.

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

A further hearing before Lord Justice Fulford is due to take place on July 9.

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