Published: 10:12, 08 June 2021
| Updated: 16:56, 08 June 2021
A serving police officer has admitted the kidnap, rape and killing of Sarah Everard.
Armed diplomatic protection officer Wayne Couzens, was arrested on Tuesday, March 9, at his home in Deal after Sarah's body was found in woodland near Ashford.
Appearing at the Old Bailey today via video-link from HMP Belmarsh, the 48-year-old sat hunched over wearing a long-sleeved grey top.
He spoke only to say "guilty, sir" to charges of rape and kidnapping.
He was not asked to enter a plea with regard to her murder. The court heard he does not deny responsibility for the killing but is awaiting medical reports before he enters a plea to the murder charge.
Those reports will relate to his “mental state”, a judge was told.
Lord Justice Adrian Falford said: “The defendant has pleaded guilty today to counts one and two of the indictment, the kidnap of Sarah Everard and the rape of Sarah Everard.
“Count three, the count of murder, has not been put to the defendant because medical reports are awaited in relation to that allegation - although the defendant accepts responsibility for the killing.”
“It is hoped that the issue in relation to count three can be resolved at the plea and trial preparation hearing on July 9 - by which time it is the hope of the court that the psychiatric and psychological reports commission by the defence will have been completed and will be available."
Jim Sterman QC, representing Couzens, said: "Responsibility for the killing is also admitted, the only issue, if there is to be one, is to be his mental state at the time and reports are not yet ready."
The 33-year-old marketing executive, disappeared while walking home in south London in March and was later discovered more than 50 miles away in Great Chart, near Ashford.
A post mortem report revealed she had been strangled.
Sarah, originally from York, went missing while walking home to Brixton after visiting a friend.
Human remains were discovered a week later next to a defunct leisure and golf complex, with dental records confirming the body belonged to Miss Everard.
During March the Metropolitan Police swarmed into Kent to search Couzens' home, the area where the body was found and his former workplace, the now abandoned BCB Garage in Centre Road, Dover.
Couzens, of Freemen's Way, Deal, served with the Met since 2018 and was attached to an armed unit responsible for guarding the London parliamentary estate and embassies.
A woman in her 30s was arrested at the same time as Couzens on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Couzens is due to stand trial in October.