2021-07-10 19:25:53 Wayne Couzens Pleads Guilty To Sarah Everard Murder
Wayne Couzens Pleads Guilty To Sarah Everard Murder
On Friday, the London police officer arrested for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard pleaded guilty to her murder in a crime that shocked the entire country.
Wayne Couzens, a 48-year-old former Metropolitan Police officer, had already admitted to kidnapping and rape, pleading guilty on June 8. Prosecutors said he also admitted he “was responsible for her killing,” at the time, but he did not enter a plea on the murder charge.
Officials announced on Friday that Couzens had pleaded guilty to murder and would be sentenced on September 29.
“This plea is as a result of a great deal of hard work by the prosecution team,” the Crown Prosecution Service’s Carolyn Oakley said. “The police should be commended for their thorough and tireless investigation into Sarah’s disappearance.”
Everard, a marketing executive based in London, went missing on the night of March 3 while walking home from a friend’s house. Couzens was apprehended a few days later, and Everard’s body was discovered in a wooded area more than 50 miles away from where she was last seen. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was neck compression.
The death of the young woman triggered a tidal wave of grief and rage in the United Kingdom. Many women spoke out online about gendered violence and the lack of safety they frequently feel just going about their daily lives. A peaceful vigil was held in London shortly after the murder, but police met it with force, arresting four women and igniting even more rage against the same institution that employed Everard’s killer.
In a press conference on Friday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she and the rest of the force are “sickened, angered, and devastated” by Everard’s murder and “feel betrayed” that it was committed by one of their own.
“Sarah was a fantastic, talented young woman with her whole life ahead of her, and that has been snatched away,” Dick said. “She was hugely loved, and she will be sorely missed by so very many people.”
Couzens’ motive for murdering Everard is still unknown. According to the BBC, prosecutor Tom Little stated in court that they had never met and were “total strangers to each other,”
According to the BBC, he had previously concocted an elaborate lie to explain the events, falsely claiming that an Eastern European gang had threatened his family and forced him to kidnap Everard.
But the true motive for the heinous crime, if one exists at all, remains a mystery.
“Couzens lied to the police when he was arrested, and he has refused to comment to this day,” Oakley said. “We still do not know what drove him to commit this appalling crime against a stranger.”