1:42 PM PDT, June 9, 2021
Wayne Couzens, the police officer charged in the murder of Sarah Everard has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping the London woman. Couzens, 48, did not enter a plea on the murder charge but pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping Everard in March.
Everard, a marketing executive based in London, vanished on March 3 after leaving a friend’s house as she was heading back to her home in south London. Her boyfriend reported her missing the next day after she never returned home that night, BBC reported.
Couzens was arrested the day before Everard’s body was found on March 10 in the woods near Kent, nearly 50 miles from where she was last seen alive.
Couzens joined the police force in 2018 and patrolled various diplomatic premises. Police say he was not on duty at the time of Everard’s disappearance.
An autopsy revealed that she died by compression of the neck.
Her death sparked outrage throughout England as high levels of violence against women by men continue to spike across the country.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan legitimized the widespread fear when he said that the streets of London are not safe for women and girls, according to the Independent.
“If you’re a woman or a girl, your experiences of our city, in any public space, whether it’s in the workplace, on the streets, on public transport is very different to if you are a man or a boy. And it’s really important that people like me in positions of power and influence understand that and take steps to address that,” Khan said.
Couzen will next appear in court on July 9.