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Watch: Moment Wayne Couzens falsely told police a gang made him kidnap Sarah Everard
29 September 2021, 19:53 | Updated: 29 September 2021, 21:25
Wayne Couzens made up a story about being threatened by a gang to justify his kidnapping of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, footage from the Metropolitan Police has shown.
Bodycam footage from March 9 2021, the day Wayne Couzens was arrested at his Kent home for the kidnap of Ms Everard, show him reciting an elaborate story about a group threatening to "harm" his family and "take them away".
Couzens told detectives that the gang said if he did not bring them women they would "use [Couzens' family] instead".
"I am in financial s*** and I've been lent on by - I don't know who they are, they're a group, a gang, whatever," said Couzens.
"And they told me [inaudible] I need to go and pick up girls and give them to them... it then came through that they're gonna harm my family and take them away, and they'll use them instead.
"At that point I had no option but to try and find somebody... I was told a place to take her. That's it. That's all I know."
In response, a detective urged Couzens to tell him "everything" he could about the gang, saying: "I need to find them."
"There was a white sprinter van... I still don't know, I just parked my car and the van came up behind me, flashed me, and they all jumped out and they took this girl, they said 'you done good', and I don't know if my family's gonna be alright still," said Couzens.
"They threatened to take my family away from me so at that point I'm doing what I can to protect my family. That's it."
Elaborately describing his route and subsequent interaction with the fictional gang, Couzens said: "I drove from Ashford to Maidstone... there's a roundabout... I went round that roundabout and back up another road, and at that point I was flashed and pulled over.
"[Inaudible] guys got out, opened my door, opened that door, and pushed me out against the front of the car, took the girl, drove off, that's it.
"They said 'we'll be in touch'."
He went on: "I'm off work with stress because I'm here to protect my family. I want to be here 24/7 for my family. They come for my family... I've got no choice."
Earlier in the interview, Couzens, who later pleaded guilty for the rape and murder of Ms Everard, denied knowing her or having any information about her whereabouts.
He also questioned why the police believed he had "personal interactions" with her, saying: "I'm sat in handcuffs... you must have something to say that I know her."
In response, the detective said: "You've been arrested on suspicion of kidnap. We believe that you have been involved in her disappearance and in taking her away from her family."
He added: "We are trying to find her... our job, our primary job, is to find her and to try and find her safe and well."
He added: "We believe that you know something about where she is and that's why we're here."
Ms Everard went missing on March 3 2021 whilst walking home from a friend's house.
Couzens was arrested on suspicion of her kidnap on March 9, and then for her murder on March 10.
On Wednesday, at Couzens' sentencing hearing, it emerged that he kidnapped her under the pretence of arresting her for breaching Covid regulations.