This Friday, the English policeman accused of the murder of Londoner Sarah Everard pleaded guilty to the British courts. The disappearance of the young woman in March shocked the UK and sparked a debate on women’s safety and policing.
Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared by video conference from Belmarsh Maximum Security Prison, where he is being held, at a hearing held before the Criminal Court of London.
Previously, this agent from the London Police Diplomatic Protection Unit had already pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping Everard, who disappeared on March 3 while walking home at night after visiting friends in Clapham, South London.
Her disappearance sparked vigils and protests despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic, with a controversial police response, and prompted the government to promise increased patrols at night and more funding to make the streets safer for women.
Couzens was arrested at his home in Deal, in the south-east of England, on March 9.
One day later, Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, was found dead in a forest in the area, a few meters from a piece of land owned by this agent of an elite body.
According to the coroner’s report, his death was due to a “neck compression”.
The murder of the young woman caused a great commotion in the country, reopening the debate on violence against women.
Thousands of women took to social media to express their feelings of insecurity, describing the threats and harassment they had suffered and asking politicians to do something about it.
The judgment of Wayne Couzens will be held at the end of September and the beginning of October.
Criticism of the police
“Wayne Couzens lied to police when he was arrested and, to date, has declined to comment. We still do not know what led him to commit this heinous crime against a stranger.” Said prosecutor Carolyn Oakley.
The agent had just finished a 12-hour shift when he committed the murder, of which the police were alerted when Everard‘s boyfriend Josh Lowth reported her missing.
Couzens had booked a rental car and bought a roll of self-adhesive plastic days before the murder, suggesting that his crime was premeditated.
A bus camera captured the moment when apparently Couzens intercepted Everard in South London. They are both seen next to the rental car.
The arrest of an active duty officer and the violent police dispersal of a vigil in honor of Everard They sparked criticism of the attitude towards women within the London Metropolitan Police.
A month later, two officers were accused of having taken inappropriate photographs with the bodies of two murdered sisters, which were later circulated among colleagues.
The victims’ mother, Wilhelmina Smallman, also accused the media and police of not taking the case as seriously because her daughters were not white like Everard.
“We say that we all matter the same and in fact now I can use this specific situation about my daughters and Sarah, since they did not receive the same support, the same cry.” She told the BBC.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.