Sarah Everard: Trial date set for murder accused PC Wayne Couzens

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Sarah Everard
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Sarah Everard has been described as "beautiful, thoughtful and incredibly kind"

A Met police officer is due to go on trial in the autumn accused of the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.

The 33-year-old marketing executive vanished as she walked home alone in Clapham on 3 March. Her body was found a week later in Kent woodland.

Wayne Couzens, of Deal, appeared at the Old Bailey via a videolink from Belmarsh Prison.

The judge set a plea hearing date for 9 July and a provisional trial for 25 October.

The court heard the provisional trial could last up to four weeks.

Prosecutor Tom Little QC said the circumstances of the case had led to a "very significant and wide-ranging investigation".

He told the court the case had attracted "almost unprecedented media and public attention".

Image source, KentOnline
Image caption,
Wayne Couzens joined the Metropolitan Police in 2018

In the short hearing, Mr Couzens spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

The 48-year-old wore grey tracksuit bottoms, a red top and appeared to have two cuts on his head.

No bail application was made by defence barrister James Sturman QC, who also said legal aid was yet to be granted.

Mr Couzens was charged on Friday and appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

Image source, Jullia Quenzler
Image caption,
Wayne Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh Prison

Ms Everard had visited a friend in the Clapham Junction area on 3 March and left at about 21:00 GMT to make what was roughly a 2.5-mile (4km) journey home.

She never arrived and was reported missing by her boyfriend the next day.

Her body was found a week later inside a builder's bag in an area of woodland in Ashford and was identified through dental records.

A post-mortem examination has taken place but no cause of death has been released.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
The court heard Sarah Everard's disappearance had attracted "unprecedented media attention"

An inquest into the death of Ms Everard is likely to be opened later this week, Kent County Council has said.

Mr Couzens joined the Met in September 2018 and was initially based in the Bromley area.

In February last year he moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command where his primary role was uniformed patrols, mainly at a range of embassies in London.

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