A court has heard that Sarah Everard was kidnapped with handcuffs in a “fake Covid arrest” by Wayne Coozens, before proceeding to rape and murder.
Couzens, 48, was a serving PC with the Metropolitan Police when he snatched Ms Everard in Clapham, south London, on the evening of 3 March this year.
At the start of her two-day sentence in London’s Old Bailey, the court heard how Ms Everard was the victim of “deceit, kidnapping, rape, strangulation, fire”.
A former boyfriend described Ms. Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, as “extremely intelligent, savvy and street-oriented” and “not a gullible person”. She said she wouldn’t get into a vehicle with a stranger unless she “forced”.
Couzens is said to have been wearing a rectangular black pouch with handcuffs similar to his police belt and a pepper spray holder when he abducted Ms. Everard.
Prosecutor Tom Little QC told the court that Cousins robbed Ms Everard of “false arrest” by “handcuffing her and showing her warrant card”.
The disgraced police officer was involved in a Covid patrol at the beginning of the year, the court heard, and would therefore be aware of the rules and the language used to enforce them.
Mr Little said the fact that Ms Everard went to a friend’s house for dinner on the night she was kidnapped may have made her more likely to face charges. Yes, they violated the rules in some way.
The court heard a couple traveling in a car on the South Circular as witnesses to the kidnapping.
The passenger in the car described seeing a woman with one hand behind her back as a man began to hold a handcuff on her other hand.
CCTV footage played in court showed two men – Coozens and Ms Everard – standing on a sidewalk behind a stationary white car whose hazard lights flashed.
The court heard that the kidnapping of Ms. Everard took less than five minutes.
Mr Little said he was handcuffed at 9.34 p.m., detained in the Cousins’ hired car until 9.37 p.m., and were on their way to Kent a minute later.
The court was shown CCTV footage of the defendant’s rental vehicle in Dover shortly after 11.30 p.m. as he transferred Ms. Everard to his car.
Couzens then moved to a remote rural area of Dover he knew well, where he parked and raped Ms. Everard.
He later bought petrol which he used to burn her body, clothes and property in a refrigerator in a forest after her murder, the court heard.
Mr Little said Coozens threw the victim’s Apple iPhone into a flow relief channel in the sandwich within hours of her death.
A piece of an EE SIM card was also found in his own car, which suggests that he had not only taken her phone but also the SIM while kidnapping her.
A week after she disappeared, Ms Everard’s body was found in a woodland stream in Ashford, Kent, just a few meters from the land owned by the Couzens.
Mr Little said the defendant had carried her body “in a green bag that he had specially purchased for that purpose in a pond deep in the woods, but which was only 130 meters from his plot”.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /