In a court hearing yesterday, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to charges of kidnap and rape against Durham University alumna Sarah Everard. He was arrested as a primary suspect following the discovery of her body in Kent in March 2021.
He also accepted responsibility for her subsequent death, but did not plead guilty for murder. Medical analyses have shown so far that she likely died from compression of the neck.
Ms. Everard was walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham the night she disappeared on 3rd March 2021. She was reported as missing by her boyfriend the following day, leading to searches in the area. The 33 year-old’s body was found a week later in woodland near Ashford in Kent.
Her death renewed the debate around women’s safety in public spaces and sexual harrassment, leading to nationwide protests and vigils. An online vigil was also held in Durham, being attended by over 200 individuals.
The next court hearing in the case is to take place on 9th July 2021. A provisional trial date has been set for 25th October.
PC Couzens joined the Met Police in 2018 and was part of the the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in London before his arrest.
Sarah Everard was a member of St. Cuthbert’s Society and graduated with a BA Geography in 2008 from Durham. She was working as a marketing executive in London at the time of her death.
Image: Missing People