LONDON — A police officer has pleaded responsible to the rape and kidnapping of Sarah Everard, the British lady whose killing in March touched off a nationwide reckoning over male violence in opposition to ladies.
The officer, Wayne Couzens, 48, made the pleas Tuesday by way of video hyperlink in a London courtroom, in accordance to the courtroom.
Mr. Couzens, who largely patrolled diplomatic premises, didn’t enter a plea in response to being charged together with her homicide, pending medical experiences, though his lawyer, Jim Sturman, stated he admitted duty for Ms. Everard’s loss of life.
His admission, after the police stated final week that Ms. Everard had died from compression of the neck, in accordance to a autopsy examination, prompted renewed anguish about Ms. Everard’s loss of life, in addition to conversations about ladies’s security.
The disappearance of Ms. Everard, a 33-year-old advertising government, whereas strolling residence from a buddy’s home in South London in March introduced consideration to a pervasive longstanding situation of violence in opposition to ladies in public and at residence. Women in Britain shared testimonies on-line of assault and harassment and the lengths to which they went to defend themselves.
Anger on the police crystallized after officers found Ms. Everard’s physique in a woodland and arrested Mr. Couzens. It then escalated after officers forcefully arrested young women at a vigil for Ms. Everard that had been banned as a result of of coronavirus restrictions.
Many felt that the police’s ways had been inappropriate, and protests sprang up in cities throughout Britain in opposition to a policing invoice that will have given the authorities extra management over dispersing protests.
An impartial authorities assessment revealed in late March found that officers on the vigil didn’t “act inappropriately or in a heavy-handed manner,” though the occasion’s organizers maintained that the review did not exonerate the police and that officers had acted dismissively towards them.
“Today’s news is horrifying and upsetting,” Reclaim These Streets, the group that deliberate the vigil for Ms. Everard, stated on Twitter. “She was just walking home. This is the worst reminder that women still aren’t safe in public spaces, even from those tasked with protecting us.”