Ashford Breaking Clapham KENT London

A serving police constable has pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard

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Wayne Couzens, 48 appeared at the Old Bailey today (Friday, 9 July) where he admitted murder.

He had already pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah, 33, at a hearing last month. They were not known to each other.

Couzens was arrested on Tuesday, 9 March, over the disappearance of Sarah on Wednesday, 3 March, in Clapham, south west London.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “My thoughts and those of everyone in the Met Police are with Sarah’s loved ones. It is not possible for any of us to begin to imagine what they have been going through. I am so sorry.

“I was able to speak to them earlier today and said to them how very sorry I am for their loss and their pain and their suffering.

“All of us in the Met are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s truly dreadful crimes. Everyone in policing feels betrayed.

“Sarah was a fantastic, talented young women with her whole life ahead of her and that has been snatched away. She was hugely loved and she will be sorely missed by so many people.

“Ever since Sarah went missing, the sole priority of my investigation team, the search team and hundreds of others in the Met was to find Sarah and bring the person who has committed this terrible crime to justice as swiftly as possible.

“We are hugely indebted to Sarah’s family, friends and so many members of the public who helped the investigation in every single way they could, not least by making appeals and giving us information.

“No words can adequately express the profound sadness and anger and regret everyone in the Met what happened to Sarah.

“Today as every day our thoughts are with Sarah with her family, with her loved ones and they always will be.”

Wayne Couzens transferred into the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), in September 2018.

His first posting was to South Area, serving initially in a Safer Neighbourhood Team, before joining a response team covering the Bromley area in February 2019.

He then moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February 2020 where his primary role was to patrol diplomatic premises, mainly embassies.

Following his arrest, a review confirmed he passed vetting processes. The checks confirmed there was no information available to the MPS at the time that would have changed the vetting decision.

Couzens was not subject to any misconduct proceedings during his time at the MPS.

Couzens stopped being paid as a police officer immediately following his earlier guilty pleas. This was as soon as legally possible. Internal misconduct procedures are now being progressed.

Couzens was remanded into custody. He will next appear at the Old Bailey to be sentenced on Wednesday, 29 September.

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