PC Wayne Couzens, 48, admitted to Sarah Everard’s family this morning that he had kidnapped and raped her and was responsible for her death.
The Metropolitan Police officer on duty told the hushed Old Bailey, watched by the young woman’s grieving father and sister, that he was guilty of kidnapping and later sexual assault on the 33-year-old.
A third count of murder was not presented to him while medical reports are still pending. Couzens is due to appear in court again on July 9 next month.
Sarah was snatched from the street walking from a friend’s house to Brixton on March 3.
The marketing assistant, who grew up in York and lived in Brixton, was spotted on a doorbell camera around 9pm as he walked along Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill.
CCTV only caught her at a quarter past nine and again at 9:28 p.m., before she was seen on the camera of a flagged police car at 9:32 p.m.
At around 9:35 p.m., a bus camera captured two figures on the road and a white Opel Astra with flashing hazard lights.
Footage from another bus caught the same car with both front doors open.
Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing manager, went missing while walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3.
Serving With Police Officer Wayne Couzens (above), 48, of Deal, Kent, had been charged with the kidnapping and murder of Miss Everard. Today he admitted that he had kidnapped and raped her.
Sarah’s family is leaving the Old Bailey today after hearing Couzens make his two IOUs. Her father Jeremy can be seen on the left, with her sister Katie on the right.
Couzens while serving as a police officer before transferring to the elite Met Police unit
A number of areas were searched in Clapham as police tried to find the missing Sarah
It was later confirmed that the vehicle had been hired from Dover after police discovered its license plate and tracked it down as it departed from London to Kent.
A major Metropolitan Police investigation was launched and her body was found a week later in the woods in Kent.
Couzens was not due to appear in court until next month, but appeared this morning via video link at the Old Bailey.
His attorney Jim Sturman QC said, “Responsibility for the murder is also acknowledged.”
During the video link, Couzens sat with his head bowed and only repeated “guilty sir” when he was charged.
Sarah’s family was in court for the 20-minute hearing and saw him make his pleas
Wayne Couzens seen in a court sketch at an earlier hearing related to the case
There was a huge search for Sarah Everard after she went missing after visiting a friend
CCTV footage of Sarah Everard previously captured on the night she was abducted in March maart
A handout photo provided by the Metropolitan Police of Sarah Everard
Wayne Couzens admitted to kidnapping and raping Sarah and takes responsibility for her death
Sarah’s death prompted a vigil in her memory in London, near where she disappeared
Police officers clash with people as they form a rally in Clapham Common, south London, after the Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard was officially canceled on March 13
The disappearance of the arrest of Sarah Everard and Wayne Couzens
3 March: Sarah disappeared around 9 p.m. after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham. She exits her boyfriend’s back gate and talks to her boyfriend on the phone for 15 minutes.
March 5th: Sarah’s family shares missing posters of her after growing concerns that she’s still not home, spreading the word online with links to the Missing People charity.
6 March: Met Police made a call, saying Sarah walked through Clapham Common, on her way home to Brixton, a 50 minute journey. They say they are not sure she ever came home.
March 7th: Police release footage of Ms Everard saying she was walking alone on A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill when she was last seen on CCTV, which has not been released to police.
8 March: Specialized agents are called in and 120 calls from the public come in. In a door-to-door operation, the police speak with 750 families.
9th of March: Police search gardens near Mrs. Everard’s route and near Oaklands Estate.
Officers also search a pond in Clapham Common and drain along the A205.
11:59 pm: Meeting with police officer Wayne Couzens arrested in Kent on suspicion of kidnapping.
Lord Justice Adrian Falford said: ‘The defendant pleaded guilty today to counts one and two of the indictment, the kidnapping of Sarah Everard and the rape of Sarah Everard.
“Number three, the count of murder, has not been passed on to the defendant as medical reports are pending on that allegation – although the defendant takes responsibility for the murder.”
Her body was found hidden in a wooded area in Ashford, Kent, in a large construction bag and was formally identified through her dental records.
He will return to court next month on July 9, when he is expected to answer the murder charge.
A tentative date for his murder trial is still set for October.
Couzens is a member of the elite Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection team – a role that gave him the right to carry a firearm and a Metropolitan Police warrant card.
The unit was established in 2015 and is responsible for protecting government buildings and embassies, as well as ministers and visiting heads of state.
As part of his armed duties to protect MPs and dignitaries, Couzens has provided static security for major public events attended by senior members of the royal family.
All police recruits undergo a careful screening to verify that they have a criminal record when they join the police force.
To be admitted to Westminster’s elite armed unit, officers must undergo rigorous testing and firearms training.
Scotland Yard has referred itself to the police watchdog over the arrest of its own officer and separately about police actions after Sarah was reported missing.
It was previously revealed that she spent 15 minutes on the phone making plans to see her boyfriend Josh Lowth the next day, before her cellphone was turned off or the battery ran out.
Mr Lowth, 33, whose LinkedIn says he is Marketing Director at MA Exhibitions, later raised the alarm with police when she failed to meet him as she had arranged, her aunt confirmed.