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Met chief: 'Everyone in policing feels betrayed' over Sarah Everard killing
9 July 2021, 13:04 | Updated: 9 July 2021, 13:14
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said "everyone in policing feels betrayed", after a serving officer admitted to the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.
Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared via video link at the Old Bailey today to admit to her killing.
He had already admitted to kidnapping and raping her at an earlier court hearing, and will be sentenced on the 29th September.
Sarah, 33, disappeared while walking home on 3 March, after Couzens snatched her and drover her out of London before disposing of her body.
Her murder struck a cord with many in the country, and her death sparked protests against brutality against women across the country.
Reacting to his plea today Commissioner Dick said: “My thoughts and those of everyone in the Met Police are with Sarah’s loved ones. It is not possible for any of us to begin to imagine what they have been going through. I am so sorry.
“I was able to speak to them earlier today and said to them how very sorry I am for their loss and their pain and their suffering.
“All of us in the Met are sickened, angered and devastated by this man’s truly dreadful crimes. Everyone in policing feels betrayed.
“Sarah was a fantastic, talented young women with her whole life ahead of her and that has been snatched away. She was hugely loved and she will be sorely missed by so many people.
“Ever since Sarah went missing, the sole priority of my investigation team, the search team and hundreds of others in the Met was to find Sarah and bring the person who has committed this terrible crime to justice as swiftly as possible.
“We are hugely indebted to Sarah’s family, friends and so many members of the public who helped the investigation in every single way they could, not least by making appeals and giving us information.
“No words can adequately express the profound sadness and anger and regret everyone in the Met what happened to Sarah.
“Today as every day our thoughts are with Sarah with her family, with her loved ones and they always will be.”
Couzens, who is married with children, was a highly trusted member of the force's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
The armed unit is responsible for guarding the Parliamentary estate, including Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, as well as embassies in London.
Couzens had been accused of indecent exposure in a branch of fast food restaurant McDonald's three days before Miss Everard died, but was not arrested or taken off duty while the matter was investigated.
Tom Little, QC, prosecuting, said today depraved Couzens did not "and had never met Sarah" when he abducted her.
Couzens kidnapped Ms Everard in a hired of a Vauxhall Astra as she walked home alone from a friend's house in Clapham, south London.
He had also bought a roll of self-adhesive film days before the murder.
A camera attached to a passing marked police car captured Sarah walking alone at 9.32pm, and just three minutes later a bus camera appeared to capture the moment she was intercepted by Couzens.
Two figures could be seen standing by the hire car, which was parked on the pavement with its hazard lights flashing.
After snatching Ms Everard, Couzens drove out of London, arriving in the area of Tilmanstone, near Deal, at 1am.
Investigators tracked the route of the car using CCTV and ANPR cameras and identified the driver as a serving officer through the car hire firm.
Couzens had used his personal details and bank card to make the booking, picking up the Vauxhall Astra on the afternoon of the abduction and returning it the next morning.
Police launched an urgent inquiry after Ms Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend Josh Lowth.