Sabtu, 13 Maret 2021

London police officer accused of murdering Sarah Everard fronts court for first time - ABC News

A London police officer has appeared in court for the first time after being charged with murder in a case that has caused widespread concern in the United Kingdom about women's safety.

Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with the kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who disappeared on the night of March 3 while walking home in south London after visiting a friend.

Ms Everard's remains were found in woodland around 80 kilometres away in south-east England.

Her killing has brought an outpouring of personal accounts from women of their own experiences and fears of walking streets alone at night and calls for action to tackle this.

Mr Couzens, wearing a grey tracksuit, spoke only to confirm his identity at London's Westminster Magistrates Court and remains in custody.

A police van drives past three camera operators as it turns into a court building off a London street.
Wayne Couzens was remanded in custody after appearing in Westminster Magistrates Court.(

AP: Steve Parsons/PA


His lawyer did not enter a plea to the charges, with a fuller court hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Mr Couzens joined London's Metropolitan Police in 2018 and guarded foreign embassies before his arrest.

Vigil cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols

Campaigners had planned a vigil to commemorate Ms Everard to take place on Saturday evening near where she disappeared.

However, organisers cancelled the vigil on Saturday morning after police warned them that they could risk arrest for breaching COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor social gatherings.

"In light of the lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police, we do not feel that we can in good faith allow tonight's event to go ahead," organisers from the group Reclaim These Streets said in a statement.

A woman with a baby strapped to her front lays flowers at a large memorial where lot of other bunches of flowers have been left.
Flowers have been laid as a memorial at the bandstand in Clapham Common, near where the vigil was to be held.(

Reuters: Dylan Martinez


Members of the public laid flowers on Saturday morning at the bandstand in Clapham Common in south-west London, near where the vigil had been planned to take place.

"We take no joy in this event being cancelled, but it is the right thing to do given the real and present threat of COVID-19," Metropolitan Police Commander Catherine Roper said.

Everard remembered as kind, caring and dependable

A poster asking people for information about missing woman Sarah Everard is seen on a London street.
Many women have shared their stories of harassment in the wake of Ms Everard's death.(

Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP


Ms Everard's alleged murder has sent shockwaves through London and triggered an outpouring of grief across the UK, with many women sharing their stories of harassment by men in public on social media.

On Thursday, Ms Everard's family paid tribute to her, saying their "beautiful daughter Sarah was taken from us and we are appealing for any information that will help to solve this terrible crime".

"Sarah was bright and beautiful — a wonderful daughter and sister," the family said in a statement.

"She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable."


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2021-03-13 13:24:14Z

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