Politics

Wayne Couzens may still face murder trial after rape and kidnap pleas

Serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens could still face trial after pleading guilty to the rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard.

Couzens, 48, also accepted responsibility for killing the 33-year-old marketing manager at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (June 8).

He appeared in court via video link from HMP Belmarsh wearing khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt. His head was bowed throughout the hearing.

Couzens has not yet been arraigned on the charge of murder.

Couzens will undergo medical and psychiatric reports ahead of a plea and trial preparation date currently set for July 9.

Sarah Everard went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham on March 3

Couzens’ acceptance is not equivalent to a guilty plea.

If he does plead guilty to murder, then the court will proceed to sentencing either later the same day or at a future date.

If he does not admit murder, then a provisional trial date of October 25 later this year remains in place.

Wayne Couzens may still face murder trial after rape and kidnap pleas
Floral tributes left on Clapham Common for Sarah Everard

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, South London, on March 3.

She was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4 and a large search operation ensued in the following days around the Clapham Common area.

However, the search then intensified upon two areas of Kent.

Wayne Couzens may still face murder trial after rape and kidnap pleas

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Couzens, a diplomatic protection officer, was arrested at his home address in Deal on March 9. Sarah’s body was subsequently discovered hidden in an area of woodland close to an abandoned leisure centre in Ashford the following day.

Met Police confirmed on June 1 that Sarah’s cause of death had been given as “compression of the neck”.


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