He is charged with kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who went missing after walking through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton, South London, on March 3. Scotland Yard confirmed yesterday that her body had been found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent. Couzens was arrested on Tuesday in Kent. Met Police Commissioner Nick Ephgrave confirmed the charge in a statement outside Scotland Yard last night. He will now be remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on March 16 and will not be entering a plea today.
He said: “I would like at this stage to pay tribute to Sarah’s family for their fortitude and forbearance through what can only have been the most intensely difficult few days.
“Our thoughts remain with them as this matter progresses.”
Police also said Couzens was taken to hospital for a second time in 48 hours on Friday for treatment to another head injury sustained in custody, before he was then discharged and returned to a police station.
He was previously treated in hospital for a separate head wound on Thursday, which was also sustained in custody when he was alone in his cell.
A Met Police spokesman said Couzens was being “monitored by officers” when he sustained the wound.
The spokesman said: “The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment to a head injury sustained while in custody in a cell on Friday.
“He was being monitored by officers and received immediate first aid. He was discharged the same day and returned to custody.”
The Met Police also said Couzens joined the force two years ago in September 2018 where he worked for a response team covering the Bromley area, before moving to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February last year.
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He added: “Specialist officers remain in constant contact with Sarah’s family, and will continue to support them throughout the investigation and beyond.
“That investigation continues at a pace and we have hundreds of officers working round the clock to establish the full circumstances of Sarah’s disappearance, and her murder.”
Earlier in the week, the parents of Ms Everard paid tribute to their daughter, describing her as “bright and beautiful” and a “shining example to us all”.
In a heartbreaking statement issued through Scotland Yard, her family added that she brought joy to their lives.
The family statement read: “Our 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. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable.
“She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.”
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