Wayne Couzens, Sarah Everard’s murderer, kidnapped her using police ID and handcuffs

He later used his police belt to strangle and kill Everard, prosecutor Tom Little advised the Outdated Bailey — the central prison courtroom of England and Wales. Little summarized Couzens’ actions as “deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation, fire.”

Everard, a 33-year-old advertising government, went lacking on the night of March 3 after leaving a pal’s home in Clapham, south London. Her stays had been discovered days later in woodland close to Ashford, Kent — greater than 50 miles from the place she was final seen.

Couzens was later arrested at his house in Kent, near the place Everard’s physique had been discovered. Prosecutors mentioned in July that Everard and Couzens “were total strangers to each other” earlier than he kidnapped her from the roadside.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Little mentioned Couzens lured Everard right into a rental automobile by falsely arresting her for Covid-19 violations, “handcuffing her as well as showing her his warrant card.”

Little additionally detailed what eyewitnesses to the kidnapping noticed, saying they noticed Couzens handcuff Everard, who appeared compliant and had her head down. They thought he was an undercover police officer arresting a girl.

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Everard was alive for hours after her kidnapping, and was moved to Couzens’ personal automobile later that night, the prosecutor mentioned. “In order to have done so and without her escaping or trying to escape or make a noise, it can be inferred that he, at least, must have threatened her,” Little advised the courtroom.

Prosecutors imagine Everard died round 2.30 a.m. on March 4, a number of hours after she was kidnapped by Couzens.

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“The defendant informed the psychiatrist that he strangled Sarah Everard using his belt. Given all the circumstances this would be consistent with his police belt,” Little mentioned.

They imagine the act occurred previous to 2.34 a.m., which was when Couzens went to a petroleum station and “bought two bottles of water, an apple juice, a Lucozade Orange and a carrier bag,” Little mentioned.

“There is no CCTV from the petrol station at the relevant time due to a system upgrade having taken place. However the defendant was not to have known that and to have left her alive (even in the boot of the Seat) would have been foolhardy,” Little mentioned.

Wayne Couzens seen in a handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police.

Couzens burned Everard’s physique in woodland in Kent, the courtroom heard. “He was to burn Sarah Everard’s body after he murdered her. He then moved her body in green bags that he had purchased specifically for that task,” Little mentioned.

Couzens then took his spouse and two youngsters on a visit to the identical space just a few days later. “It follows that the defendant … took his family on a family trip to the very woods where days earlier he had left Sarah Everard’s body, then returned to burn it and returned again to move it and hide it,” Little mentioned.

Little additionally mentioned Couzens advised his household that he was engaged on the evening of March 3, when he kidnapped and subsequently murdered Everard.

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Wednesday’s emotional listening to noticed Everard’s household converse in courtroom, demanding that Couzens, who spent the listening to along with his eyes closed and head bowed, take a look at them whereas they learn their statements.

Sarah’s mom, Susan, mentioned her daughter “spent the last hours on this earth with the very worst of humanity. She lost her life because Wayne Couzens wanted to satisfy his perverted desires … He treated my daughter as if she was nothing and disposed of her as if she was rubbish. I am haunted by the horror of it.”

Couzens is because of be sentenced on Thursday. He’s anticipated to obtain a compulsory life sentence.

Talking to the courtroom on Wednesday, Everard’s father, Jeremy, advised Couzens that “no punishment you receive will ever compare to the pain and torture that you have inflicted on us.”

An epidemic of violence

Everard’s disappearance prompted an outpouring of grief and rage throughout social media from ladies sharing their very own experiences of sexual assault, whereas additionally shining a lightweight on the epidemic of violence in opposition to ladies and ladies within the UK.

One girl is killed by a person on common each three days within the UK, in response to information from the Femicide Census, a company that tracks violence in opposition to ladies and ladies. The group argues that the federal government’s new technique to curb such violence “shamefully ignores” victims of femicide.

London’s Metropolitan Police drive has confronted a barrage of criticism for his or her actions within the days after Everard’s disappearance. The Met can also be alleged to have failed to research a number of indecent publicity incidents linked to Couzens, who was fired from the drive in July, days after he pleaded responsible to the kidnap and rape of Everard.
Girls had been reportedly warned by law enforcement officials to not enterprise out alone as they made door-to-door inquiries on the case, prompting some to remark that this method solely fueled the tradition of sufferer blaming.
The police's rough handling of protesters at a vigil for Everard was met with anger.
A March vigil for Everard dissolved into violence when a predominately-male cluster of officers tried to disperse the gang, who police say had been in breach of Covid-19 laws.
In the meantime, the police regulator, the Unbiased Workplace for Police Conduct (IOPC), is investigating whether or not the police responded appropriately to a report that Couzens indecently uncovered himself at a South London quick meals restaurant in February. The IOPC can also be investigating alleged failures by Kent Police to research one other indecent publicity incident linked to Couzens from 2015.

Couzens joined the Met in September 2018 and was posted to a response group overlaying the Bromley space in southeast London. He then moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Safety Command in February 2020, the place his “primary role was on uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises, mainly a range of Embassies,” a Met assertion mentioned.

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CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark, Kara Fox, Livvy Doherty and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.