Police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of 33-year-old woman in London
A London Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens on Tuesday pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
Everard, who disappeared while walking home in South London in early March, sparked a nationwide debate about crime against women.
The 33-year-old marketing executive’s body was found more than a week later in woodland in Kent, some 80 kilometres from where the Londoner was last seen.
48-year-old Police constable pleaded guilty to her kidnap and rape, Britain’s Press Association (PA) reported.
He also told the court that he accepted responsibility for her death, but a formal plea was not entered, according to PA.
It remains to be seen if he will face a charge of murder or manslaughter.
Members of Everard’s family were present at the Old Bailey criminal court as the officer admitted his guilt.
The next hearing is scheduled for July 9.
Her missing case captured the British public, and attention only heightened after her body was found and the suspect who was named turned out to be a London police officer.
A vigil staged days after her body was recovered was attended by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate.
Police later forcibly broke up the gathering, citing Coronavirus social-distancing rules, drawing fierce criticism for the aggressive tactic deployed.
However, an investigation by the responsible supervisory authority found the officers had acted correctly.