— Internet News

A UK police officer has pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard

This article contains references to rape.

A British police officer has pleaded guilty to the murder of a woman whose disappearance as she walked to her London home sparked outrage and a national debate about women’s safety.

Wayne Couzens, 48, a London officer who guarded diplomatic premises, had previously admitted to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard.

Ms. Everard, 33, was abducted as she walked home from a friend’s house in south London on 3 March, and her body was later found in woodland around 80 kilometers away in southeast England.

A post-mortem last month concluded she had died as a result of compression of the neck.

Sarah Everard

Appearing by video link from prison for a hearing at London’s Old Bailey Court, Couzens bowed head and said “guilty ma’am” when asked how he pleaded to the charge of murder.

Prosecutor Tom Little said the officer had never met Ms. Everard before kidnapping her from London’s South Circular Road, and they were “total strangers”.

Mr. Little said it might not be possible to determine precisely what had happened, and the judge, Adrian Fulford, said Couzens had previously only given an entirely false account of events.

“This has been a mammoth investigation which has produced some very significant results in terms of being able to understand what happened,” Judge Fulford said.

Couzens’ lawyer, James Sturman, said his client’s pleas represented “genuine guilt and remorse for what he did”. “As he put it to us this morning, he will bear this burden for the rest of his life, and he deserves to – his words’ and I deserve to’. He accepts the victims, in this case, are the Everard family and friends, not him,” Mr. Sturman told the court.

A two-day sentencing hearing, considering psychiatric reports, will begin on 29 September. 

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said her thoughts “are with Sarah’s loved ones,” and she has told them how “very sorry I am for their loss and pain and suffering”.

She said police officers feel betrayed by the actions of Couzens.

“All of us in the Met are sickened, angered, and devastated by this man’s crimes. They are dreadful,” she said.

Ms. Everard’s murder provoked outpourings of anger from women who have recounted their own experiences and fears of walking the streets at night, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to promise action, including money for better street lighting.

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

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

Additional reporting: AFP

If you or someone you know is impacted by family, domestic violence, or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. The Men’s Referral Service advises men on domestic violence and can be contacted on 1300 766 491. In an emergency, call 000.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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