Police constable, 48, charged with murder of Sarah Everard after body found in woodland

Police constable, 48, charged with murder of Sarah Everard after body found in woodland

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

Wayne Couzens, 48, is due to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

The 33-year-old marketing executive disappeared while walking home in south London last week. She was last seen walking alone down a main road in Clapham at 9:30pm. Police said it was unclear whether she reached her home in Brixton.

Yesterday, police confirmed that the body found in Kent woodland on Wednesday was that of Sarah Everard.

A woman in her 30s was arrested at the same time as Couzens on suspicion of assisting an offender, but has since been released on bail to return to a police station in mid-April.

The investigation is being led by detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command with support from Kent Police.

Commander Catherine Roper, the Metropolitan Police’s lead for community engagement, said: “Like everyone across London, I have been deeply saddened and shocked by the death of Sarah Everard. My heart goes out to her family, friends and everyone who had the joy to know her.

“No woman in London should be unsafe on London’s streets and I understand the strength of feeling that has grown following Sarah’s disappearance. As a woman and a police officer, I want nothing more than for women to feel safe and protected by the police.”

Wayne Couzens joined the Metropolitan Police in September 2018. His first posting was in a response team covering the Bromley area. In 2020, he moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command where his role was on uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Sarah’s family and friends.

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