Police officer accepts responsibility for killing Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard death: Pc Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to kidnap and rape

A British police officer today pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of a woman whose disappearance as she walked home sparked outrage and a national debate about women's safety.

The news was broken by Channel 4 correspondent, Minnie Stephenson.

The Metropolitan Police officer was wearing khaki pants and a grey sweatshirt as he pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Everard "unlawfully and by force or fraud" on March 3.

Ms Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing in Clapham, south London, on 3 March. Her body was found a week later after a police investigation was launched, and Couzens was charged with Everard's kidnapping and murder.

He also pleaded guilty to a second charge of rape between March 2 and 10.

The court heard that responsibility for the killing was admitted but medical reports were awaited.

Sarah Everard went missing after leaving a friend's house. Four members of Miss Everard's family were in court to hear the pleas.

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What's next: Another hearing will take place on July 9.

A postmortem concluded earlier this month that Everard died as a result of compression of the neck.

During March the Metropolitan Police swarmed into Kent yo search Couzens' home, the area where the body was found and his former workplace, the now abandoned BCB Garage in Centre Road, Dover.

She was discovered inside a large builder's bag and was formally identified through her dental records.

After his arrest, he was twice rushed to hospital after suffering head injuries in his cell.

Miss Everard's death became a cause celebre for feminists demanding more protection for women.

The police also came under fire for their handling of a vigil for Everard when officers were criticised for dragging mourners away.

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