Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens appears in court charged with kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard

Video report by ITV News Reporter Lewis Warner

Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens has appeared in person at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.

The 33-year-old went missing while walking home from a friend's flat in south London on March 3.

Her body was found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday.

  • ITV News Reporter Frankie McCamley has the latest from outside court

Couzens appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning for his first appearance following his arrest on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old arrived at the central London court at 10am in a large blue police van, stepping into the dock around 10.30am.

A police van arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court on Saturday morning. Credit: PA

He wore a grey tracksuit and appeared to have a red wound on the top of his forehead.

Couzens spoke only to confirm his name and personal details, sitting between two plain clothes officers in the dock.

Couzens spoke only to confirm his name and personal details. Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

The court heard the officer is accused of kidnapping Ms Everard in the Poynders Road area of Clapham.

Ms Everard's body was identified through the use of dental records, the court also heard.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring remanded Couzens in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Sarah Everard's body was discovered in woodland near Ashford in Kent. Credit: PA

Addressing the defendant, Mr Goldspring said: "Mr Couzens, I am sending your case to the crown court sitting at the Central Criminal Court, what you might know as the Old Bailey.

"You will appear there for your first appearance on the 16th of March.

"I don't have the power to consider the question of bail.

"That will be considered should you wish to make an application to the court on the 16th of March.

"You are therefore remanded in custody until that date, both charges having been sent to the crown court."

A woman leaves flowers at the bandstand on Clapham Common close to where Ms Everard was last seen. Credit: PA

The Metropolitan Police previously said Couzens joined the force in 2018, most recently serving in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, an armed unit responsible for guarding the Parliamentary estate and embassies in London.

His main job was uniformed patrol of diplomatic buildings, and Scotland Yard said he was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard's disappearance.

The force said that Couzens, of Deal, in Kent, was taken to hospital for a second time in 48 hours on Friday for treatment to another head injury sustained in custody, before he was discharged and returned to a police station.

He was previously treated in hospital for a separate head wound on Thursday, also sustained in custody when he was alone in his cell.