London police officer pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

Wayne Couzens, 48, made the guilty plea at the Old Bailey — the central criminal court — in London on Tuesday, an Old Bailey clerk told CNN.

Couzens also “accepts responsibility” for killing Everard but has not yet been asked to enter a plea on the charge of murder, the Crown Prosecution Service said Tuesday. The defendant is due to next appear in court on July 9, it added.

Everard disappeared on March 3 while walking in Clapham, south London, prompting an extensive police search in the area. Her remains were eventually found more than 50 miles from where she was last seen.

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Couzens, a police constable whose primary role at the time was uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises, was arrested in Kent, England and charged with Everard’s kidnap and murder.

Everard’s disappearance prompted thousands of women in the United Kingdom and around the world to share their own experiences of intimidation or harassment while walking alone at night.

Many also exchanged notes on the habitual precautions they take to try to stay safe when they walk alone — like clutching keys between their knuckles, pretending to talk to someone on the phone, or not wearing headphones at night — and voiced their anger and frustration that it feels like a necessary step.

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