A member of the London police pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the rape and abduction of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, whose death sparked a global conversation about women’s public safety.
Police officer Wayne Cousins, 48, appeared in court via video link from prison and admitted responsibility for Everard’s death. He is also accused of killing Everard, but has not yet made a formal request.
Everard, the marketing director, was last seen walking home after visiting a friend in south London on March 3rd.
She was reported missing by her partner the next day, starting a search and prompting women to spill online testimonials, talking about the length of time they had to go to keep themselves safe.
Couzens, who remains a police officer, joined the Met in 2018 and was allowed to carry a firearm. He was arrested at his Kent home on March 9 and charged with kidnapping and murder while in custody on March 12.
Officials decided Everard’s death was the result of a neck compression.
During Tuesday’s hearing, when asked how he prayed for the allegations of rape and kidnapping, Cousins replied only in response: “Guilty, sir.”
Four of Everard’s family, including her parents, Jeremy and Susan, were present at Old Bailey’s court to testify for Cousins’ admission.
Following the news of her death, Everard’s family paid tribute to her in a statement, describing her as “strong and principled.”
“Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and considerate, caring and reliable, “the family statement said. “She always put others first and had the most incredible sense of humor.
“She was strong and principled and was a shining example for all of us. We are very proud of her and she has brought so much joy into our lives. “
Couzens’ next plan is to appear in court on July 9.