British police officer Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty in court to the murder of Sarah Everard (33). He previously admitted to kidnapping and rape. The disappearance and death of the London woman at the beginning of this year sparked outrage in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Couzens, 48, said he was responsible for Everard’s death last month but said he was not yet guilty of murder. An investigation shows that the woman was strangled and that in the run-up to the murder, the suspect had arranged a rental car and bought a roll of packaging film.
Everard disappeared in early March when she was walking home in London that evening. Couzens took her out of town in his rental car. The woman’s body was found more than a week later in a forest, nearly 50 miles from where she was last seen. She didn’t know Couzens. The two were “total strangers” to each other, the prosecutor in the case said.
It may not be possible to determine precisely what happened and why, according to the prosecutor. The suspect is not cooperating with the investigation. He had made false statements after his arrest. For example, he had blamed an Eastern European gang. His motive is still unknown. The court will rule on the high-profile case at the end of September.
The murder sparked a widespread public outcry among women, who then shared their experiences of harassment and danger in the streets on social media. A vigil for the woman in London also sparked criticism after officers cracked down because the meeting was not allowed due to the corona measures. However, an independent inspection later found that the police had acted appropriately.
Another organization is conducting several investigations into alleged misconduct by 12 officers in connection with the Everard case. These include the circumstances in which Couzens suffered head injuries shortly after his arrest and possible errors in investigations into allegations of public sex offences against Couzens in 2015 and February 2021.