United Kingdom policeman in elite unit charged with murder of woman

Clay Curtis
March 13, 2021

Police officers search an area of grass land behind a house, as the investigation into the disappearance of Sarah Everard continues in Deal, Britain March 12, 2021.

Wayne Couzens, 48, a serving officer in the Metropolitan Police's elite diplomatic protection unit, was charged with killing 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard, the force said.

It comes in the wake of the suspected kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard who had been missing since 3 March and was last seen walking home from a friend's house near Clapham Common in south London.

Everard had also been captured by a doorbell camera as she walked home along the busy Poynders Rd - part of London's South Circular - from Clapham to Brixton at 9.30pm last Wednesday. Couzens appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning for his first appearance following his arrest on Tuesday.

"I can now confirm that it is the body of Sarah Everard".

Yesterday, Couzens was taken to hospital for the second time in 48 hours for treatment on a fresh head injury sustained in custody.

"But the force said the judge had reaffirmed the police's right to conclude that large gatherings were now unlawful and urged people to "find a lawful and safer way to express your views".

Word of Everard's disappearance has sparked a wave of grief online, leading many women to share stories on Twitter of men harassing or attacking them.

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Women in the North West say Ms Everard's disappearance has put the issue of violence and safety in the spotlight once again, and has resonated with thousands.

He said he recognised the wider concerns that had been "quite rightly" raised about the safety of women in public spaces.

"I understand this ruling will be a disappointment to those hoping to express their strength of feeling, but I ask women and allies across London to find a safe alternative way to express their views", said police Commander Catherine Roper.

The case has sparked widespread anger in the United Kingdom, and on Thursday MP Jess Phillips read out the names in parliament of 118 women and girls killed in Britain in the previous year.

A woman in her 30s, who media said was the partner of Couzens, was released on police bail after having been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

"Killed women are not vanishingly rare".

The body has now been recovered and a formal identity procedure has taken place.

Reclaim These Streets, is challenging the police's interpretation of Covid restrictions, and wants to be able to hold social distanced vigils.

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