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British police officer admits kidnapping, raping woman

LONDON, March 15, 2021 -- Flowers and a note are seen as people pay tributes at the bandstand on Clapham Common to mourn for Sarah Everard in London, Britain, on March 15, 2021. A serving Metropolitan police officer on March 13 appeared in court in London after being charged with the kidnap and murder of a 33-year-old woman. Wayne Couzens, 48, was arrested after Sarah Everard, a marketing executive, went missing while walking home from a friend's apartment in south London on March 3. Everard's death has caused widespread concern in Britain about women's safety, with many women and girls sharing stories online of their own traumatic experiences. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Han Yan via Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — A British police officer has pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of a woman as she walked home in south London and whose body was found a week later in the woods.

A court at London’s Old Bailey heard Tuesday that Wayne Couzens, 48, accepted responsibility for the death of Sarah Everard though he was not asked to enter a plea to a charge of murder.

Medical reports into the former Metropolitan Police officer, who appeared by video link from Belmarsh prison, are being prepared. A further hearing before the judge, Adrian Fulford, will take place July 9.

Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3. A major police investigation was launched and her body was found a week later in a woodland in the southeast county of Kent.

Everard’s disappearance and killing caused a nationwide outcry, with women sharing experiences of being threatened or attacked — or simply facing the everyday fear of violence when walking alone.

Members of Everard’s family sat in court to witness the defendant enter his pleas.

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