Wayne Couzens admits to kidnapping, raping and killing Sarah Everard: 'Guilty, sir'
British police officer Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of marketing executive Sarah Everard.
48-year-old Couzens also admitted to killing Everard but was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder, the Old Bailey court heard, according to The Sun.
Everard, 33, was reported missing in Clapham, south London on March 3, sparking a major police investigation that intensified after her body was found in a woodland in Kent about a week later.
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According to the British newspaper, even though Couzens admitted responsibility for the killing, he was not asked to enter a plea to a count of murder as a medical report is being prepared on Couzens's mental fitness.
“Responsibility for the killing is accepted. The only issue will be his mental state at the time. Reports are not yet ready," Couzens's defense lawyer Jim Sturman QC told the court, adding that the full report is due on July 9.
The disgraced Metropolitan Police officer was seen wearing khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt as he appeared in front of the judge via video link from Belmarsh jail. During the hearing, which lasted about half an hour, Lord Justice Fulford read out one count of rape and one count of kidnapping. Couzens kept his head down as he answered "Guilty, sir" -- admitting to kidnapping Everard "unlawfully and by force or fraud" on March 3.
He also and pleaded guilty to a second charge of rape between March 2 and 10. "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," said Lord Justice Adrian Fulford. "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," he continued.
*BREAKING* Wayne Couzens admits kidnapping and raping Sarah Everard, whose body was found a week after the 33-year-old disappeared walking home in London in March pic.twitter.com/iUnev9T5Ev— Capital Moments (@CapitalMoments) June 8, 2021
Several members of Everard's devastated family were present in court to witness the defendant enter his pleas. Lord Justice Fulford is due to preside over a further hearing on July 9.
"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 commissioned by the defense will have been completed and will be available," the judge added.
Everard went missing from south London in March this year. Her body was discovered a week later more than 50 miles away from Kent, next to a now-defunct leisure and golf complex near Ashford. Dental records confirmed that the body belonged to Everard, while a post mortem report concluded that she had been strangled.
It's worth noting that Couzens had served with the Met police since 2018 and was part of an armed unit responsible for guarding the London parliamentary estate and embassies. Couzens from Deal, Kent, is due to stand trial in October, according to The Sun.