PC Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry reports on the case

PC Wayne Couzens, 48, has pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard while also accepting he was responsible for her death.

The Met police officer appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday and the court heard Couzens accepted responsibility for the killing of Ms Everard but was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3.

Wayne Couzens pled guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

She was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4 and her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on March 10.

Couzens was wearing khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt as he appeared by video link from Belmarsh jail.

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on March 3.

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

Couzens was not asked to enter a plea to her murder between March 2 and 10.

Tributes left for Sarah Everard after her death Credit: PA

The defendant said: “Guilty, sir” when asked for his plea to the first two charges.

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

Members of Ms Everard’s family sat in court to witness the defendant enter his pleas.

A further hearing before Lord Justice Fulford is due to take place on July 9.

The death of Ms Everard sparked protests across the country by women who said not enough was being done to protect them on the streets.