British police officer pleads guilty to rape and kidnap of Sarah EverardJune 8, 2021
London: A British police officer has pleaded guilty to the rape and kidnapping of 33-year-old Sarah Everard who went missing while walking home in London earlier this year.
Her body was found in a bag in woodland in the county of Kent one week after she vanished in a case that outraged Britain. Her death prompted Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, to pay tribute at a vigil for Evarard.
Sarah Everard.Credit:Metropolitan Police
Police officer Wayne Couzens, who joined the Metropolitan police force in 2018, was charged in March with Everard’s kidnap and murder.
On Tuesday, he admitted to kidnapping Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” and raping the marketing executive. He did not enter a plea for her murder, but those gathered in court heard that he had accepted responsibility for her death.
This court artist sketch shows serving police constable Wayne Couzens, left, appearing in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in Londonin March.Credit:PA
At the time, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the gathering had been “unlawful” citing coronavirus concerns.
Photos of officers arresting women and pinning others to the ground triggered further calls for better protection for women. Angry mourners who had gathered to pay their respects to Everard were stunned at the use of force, with some chanting “arrest your own” towards officers.
Days before Everard vanished, Couzens was accused of exposing himself in a London restaurant.
Research published earlier this year from UN Women United Kingdom shows that at least 97 per cent of British women aged between 18 and 24 have experienced sexual harassment in public.
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