Jailed police officer Wayne Couzens, who has admitted guilt, is predicted to be sentenced on Thursday.
A serving British police officer falsely accused Sarah Everard of breaking COVID-19 lockdown guidelines, then handcuffed and arrested her earlier than kidnapping and murdering the 33-year-old, a courtroom has heard.
Wayne Couzens, 48, kidnapped Everard on March 3 whereas she was strolling dwelling from a pal’s home in south London. He has admitted to her kidnapping, raping and murdering her and is in custody in the UK’s prime safety Belmarsh jail.
Initially of a two-day sentencing listening to on Wednesday at London’s Central Prison Court docket, prosecutor Tom Little mentioned Couzens focused Everard on the night of her disappearance.
Couzens, who was a part of the London Metropolitan Police’s (MET) elite diplomatic safety unit on the time, kidnapped her in a “false arrest” by “handcuffing her and displaying his warrant card”, Little mentioned.
Couzens then put her right into a rental automobile he had employed “to kidnap and rape a lone girl”, he added.
A pair in a passing automobile witnessed the kidnapping however mistook it for an arrest by an undercover officer, Little mentioned.
Everard was the sufferer of “deception, kidnap, rape, strangulation and hearth”, Little mentioned.
Couzen burned Everard’s physique after killing her.
‘Sickened, angered, devastated
Everard’s physique was present in woodland in Ashford, Kent, about 60 miles (97 kilometres) southeast of London, every week after she went lacking.
Her case gripped the UK, triggering a nationwide dialog about girls’s security on the streets.
A former boyfriend had given proof that Everard was “savvy and streetwise” and wouldn’t have entered a automobile with a stranger besides “by drive or manipulation”, Little mentioned.
“The actual fact she had been to a pal’s home for dinner on the peak of the early 2021 lockdown made her extra susceptible to and extra prone to undergo an accusation that she had acted in breach of the COVID laws ultimately,” he informed the courtroom.
Couzens sat within the dock on Wednesday, watched by members of Everard’s household, because the decide thought-about whether or not at hand him a whole-life jail time period. The sentence is because of be introduced on Thursday.
Demonstrators exterior the courtroom held banners with slogans criticising the police akin to “Met Police Blood On Your Arms” and let off smoke flares.
Earlier than the courtroom listening to, the Met mentioned in a press release, “We’re sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes, which betray all the things we stand for.”
The drive has sacked Couzens and admitted his actions “increase many questions and considerations”, however mentioned it will not remark additional till after the sentencing.