Sarah Everard: Met police officer charged with kidnap and murder

Sarah Everard: Met police officer charged with kidnap and murder

Sarah Everard: Met police officer charged with kidnap and murder, carthage news

PC Wayne Couzens charged over 33-year-old woman’s disappearance and death

Vikram Dodd

A serving Metropolitan police officer has been charged with the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.

The 33-year-old marketing executive went missing on the evening of 3 March while on her way home in south London.

PC Wayne Couzens, who was first arrested on Tuesday, was charged on Friday over Everard’s disappearance and death. He will appear at Westminster magistrates court on Saturday for his first hearing.

The decision to charge was made by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which authorises criminal proceedings in England and Wales.

The Met said that hundreds of its officers were working on the investigation, supported by colleagues from Kent Police. After the announcement of the charging of one of their officers the Met revealed he had only been with the force for just over two years.

In a statement the Met said: “In the interests of clarity about these exceptional events, we are releasing further details of Couzens’ employment with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Wayne Couzens joined the MPS on 10 September 2018.

“His first posting was to South Area where he joined a response team covering the Bromley area. He then moved to the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command on 1 February 2020 where his primary role was on uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises, mainly a range of Embassies.”

Everard, 33, a marketing executive went missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, at around 9pm.

She is believed to have walked through Clapham Common on her way home to Brixton, a journey that should have taken around 50 minutes. During that walk she talked on the phone to her boyfriend.

Her disappearance triggered a police investigation with detectives securing CCTV, video doorbell and bus camera footage for any clue as to what happened to her.

Video taken from a doorbell camera captured Everard on the A205 Poynders Road walking towards Tulse Hill – the last known sighting of her.

She was last seen wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue trousers with a white diamond pattern and turquoise and orange trainers, and may also have had on her green earphones and a white beanie hat.

Six days after she was last seen, the Met announced on 9 March that a serving officer had been arrested over her disappearance. Couzens was first arrested on suspicion of kidnap, and the next day arrested on suspicion of murder and also on suspicion of indecent exposure in a separate incident.

Sarah’s body, recovered from woodland in Ashford, Kent, was formally identified on Friday.

In a statement her family told of their loss and the joy she had brought to the lives of her family and friends: “Sarah was bright and beautiful – a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.

“She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives.

“We would like to thank our friends and family for all their support during this awful time and we would especially like to thank Sarah’s friends who are working tirelessly to help.”

Rosemary Ainslie, head of special crime at the CPS, said: “Following a referral of evidence by the Metropolitan police related to the death of Sarah Everard, the CPS has authorised the police to charge Wayne Couzens with murder and kidnapping.

“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges to a court to consider.

“Criminal proceedings are now active and nothing should be published that could jeopardise the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”

The Guardian

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