LONDON (AP) — A serving London police officer handcuffed a girl on the pretext that she broke COVID-19 lockdown principles sooner than he kidnapped and killed her, a prosecutor acknowledged Wednesday.
Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared at London’s Central Felony Court charged with the kidnapping, rape and abolish of 33-year-weak Sarah Everard, who disappeared while strolling dwelling from visiting an even friend in south London on March 3.
The case has sparked national outrage and precipitated substantial-scale protests denouncing violence towards females.
Couzens has pleaded guilty to the charges. He sat in a packed courtroom alongside with his head bowed as contributors of Everard’s family listened to prosecutor Tom Shrimp birth his case.
Shrimp acknowledged Couzens wore his police belt with handcuffs and weak his police identification when he detained Everard “by fraud.” He had additionally rented a car as segment of his thought, the prosecutor argued.
There used to be “no credible more than just a few reason for his must hire a car varied than to make use of that car to kidnap and rape a lone lady,” Shrimp acknowledged.
“His actions were per the defendant procuring for, or hunting, for a lone younger female to kidnap and rape, which is precisely what he did,” the prosecutor argued.
Couzens joined the Metropolitan Police in 2018 and had worked as segment of a bunch defending diplomatic locations in central London. He had worked an in a single day shift at the U.S. Embassy on the day he kidnapped Everard.
Couzens additionally had worked on COVID-19 patrols and imposing coronavirus regulations, Shrimp acknowledged. Everard had been strolling dwelling after going to an even friend’s dwelling for dinner while Britain remained below lockdown, and that made her extra weak to the officer’s claim that she had breached pandemic principles, according to the prosecutor.
A passenger in a passing car witnessed the kidnapping, but mistook it for an arrest by an undercover officer, he added.
Everard’s physique used to be existing in woodland in Ashford, Kent, about 60 miles (almost 100 kilometers) southeast of London, per week after she went lacking. Prosecutors acknowledged Couzens strangled her sooner than atmosphere fireplace to the physique.
Everard’s of us and sister demanded Couzens face them as they read out emotional gaze statements Wednesday.
“I am tormented at the conception of what she persisted,” the victim’s mother, Susan, acknowledged. “He treated my daughter as if she used to be nothing and disposed of her as if she used to be rubbish.”
Everard’s disappearance ended in regarded as one of many most on the total publicized lacking individual investigations the U.Okay. has ever viewed, Shrimp acknowledged.
Britain’s authorities acknowledged in the wake of Everard’s killing that it will make investments millions of kilos extra in its “Safer Streets” fund to place extra officers on the streets and increase avenue lighting fixtures and closed-circuit tv companies to present protection to females and girls. The killing of 28-year-weak foremost faculty instructor Sabina Nessa, who used to be stumbled on needless in a London park earlier this month, has place renewed focal level on the safety of females.
Before Wednesday’s court docket hearing in the Couzens case, the Metropolitan Police department acknowledged it used to be “sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s crimes, which betray the complete lot we stand for.” The force acknowledged it wouldn’t additional comment until the hearing is over.
A mediate is predicted to sentence Couzens on Thursday.
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