Home Kent News Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to murder of Sarah Everard

Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to murder of Sarah Everard

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Original article from Kent Live

Wayne Couzens faces life behind bars after pleading guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard.

Couzens had already admitted kidnaping and raping the 33-year-old marketing manager, who he snatched from the street in Clapham, South London, earlier this year.

The 48-year-old officer from Deal will be sentenced at a later date.

Sarah went missing at around 9pm as she walked home from a friend's house on March 3.

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She was reported missing by her boyfriend the next day.

Her body was found a week later in a builder's bag in woods 70 miles away in Ashford, Kent, where Couzens owns a patch of land.

It can now be reported that the armed protection officer made several trips to the area in the days after the murder.

He had made a number of purchases on Amazon after the killing including a roll of self adhesive plastic, a tarpaulin and a bungee cargo net.

Couzens was also seen at B&Q two days after the murder buying two rubble sacks.

Prosecutor Zoe Martin told Westminster Magistrates' Court in March how Sarah left her friend at approximately 9pm to walk home to Brixon, around two and a half miles away.

Following a fifteen minute call to her boyfriend that finished at 21.28 there was no further activity on her phone which had not been recovered, Ms Martin said.

Sarah was reported missing when she failed to meet her boyfriend as arranged at 8.10pm the next day.

Police soon established that she was captured on CCTV at a junction with the A205, South Circular at 9.15pm.

At that point she was alone and there was no evidence that she was being followed.

At 21.35 a bus camera caught two figures on Poynders Road standing beside a white Vauxhall Astra which was parked on the pavement with its hazard lights flashing.

One person, thought to be Sarah, was wearing light clothing and the other, believed to be Couzens, wore a dark outfit.

At 21.38pm another bus camera captured the same vehicle but this time the two front car doors were open.

The Astra was tracked using CCTV and ANPR cameras heading out of London and into Kent.

At 1am it was seen in the Tilmanstone area, a few miles from his home in Deal.

Couzens had hired the vehicle from an Enterprise car hire in Dover the previous Sunday using his name, address and two different mobile numbers.

He paid a deposit using his bank card and collected the Astra on the Wednesday afternoon.

On the day he abducted Sarah, he had just come off a 12-hour night shift.

He then began a period of leave and was not due back at work until Monday March 8.

Two days after the murder he told bosses that he was suffering from stress.

The next day he emailed his supervisor saying that he no longer wanted to carry a firearm and he later reported in sick.

Couzens was arrested at his home in Deal two days later after police viewed the dash cam footage of the Astra and traced it to him.

Detectives later discovered that Couzens and his wife had purchased land in 2019 near Ashford in Kent.

This, together with phone data, led to the area being designated as a crime scene.

At about 4.45pm on March 10 a body was discovered approximately 100 metres away from the plot owned by Couzens.

He answered no comment to questions when interviewed formally.

His phone was wiped of all data the day before his arrest.

After her murder, Sarah's parents Jeremy, 67, and Sue, 64, paid tribute to a "wonderful" daughter" who had "brought so much joy to our lives".

Scotland Yard is facing an investigation by the police watchdog into its handling of separate allegations of indecent exposure against Couzens three days before the murder.

Original Article