June 8 (UPI) — A London police officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to kidnapping and raping a 33-year-old marketing executive who disappeared for a week in March before she was found dead.
London Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens entered the plea at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales.
Sarah Everard went missing while walking home in South London on March 3. Police found her body a week later in a wooded area in Kent. Investigators said she’d been sexually assaulted.
Couzens was arrested that month on suspicion of kidnapping and later was charged with Everard’s murder.
Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape and kidnapping “unlawfully and by force or fraud.”
On the murder charge, Couzens has not yet entered a plea, pending a psychiatric report. He’s scheduled to return to court on July 9.
Jailed at London’s Belmarsh Prison, Couzens entered the pleas Tuesday via video link.
Everard’s death sparked outrage in London and there were subsequently clashes between demonstrators and police at one vigil memorializing Everard.