Police officer Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

Serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens (Image: Kent Messenger / SWNS)

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Police officer Wayne Couzens has accepted responsibility for killing Sarah Everard and admitted raping and kidnapping her.

The Pc, 48, appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of the marketing manager.

The court heard Couzens also accepted responsibility for her killing but was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.

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

She was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4, sparking a huge manhunt.

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

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Ms Everard went missing on March 3
(Image: PA)

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.

A court sketch of Couzens during his first court appearance
(Image: PA)

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.

Couzens worked as a diplomatic protection officer
(Image: COPYRIGHT UNKNOWN)

The judge said: “The defendant has pleaded guilty today to counts one and two of the indictment, the kidnap of Sarah Everard and the rape of Sarah Everard.

“Count three, the count of murder, has not been put to the defendant because medical reports are awaited in relation to that allegation – although the defendant accepts responsibility for the killing.

“It is hoped that the issue in relation to count three can be resolved at the plea and trial preparation hearing on July 9 – by which time it is the hope of the court that the psychiatric and psychological reports commission by the defence will have been completed and will be available."

Jim Sterman QC, representing Couzens, said: "Responsibility for the killing is also admitted, the only issue, if there is to be one, is to be his mental state at the time and reports are not yet ready."

A post-mortem ruled last week that Ms Everard had been strangled.

Her remains were discovered next to a defunct leisure and golf complex around 55 miles from Clapham, where she vanished.

Ms Everard's death prompted a wave of anger across the country, with vigils held and protests organised over violence towards women.

Couzens had served with the Met since 2018 and was attached to an armed unit responsible for guarding the London parliamentary estate and embassies.

His main job was uniformed patrol of diplomatic buildings and Scotland Yard said he was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard's disappearance.

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