Wayne Couzens handcuffed and arrested Sarah Everard in a fake Covid patrol before driving her 80 miles away to her death, a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey heard today
A couple witnessed the moment killer cop Wayne Couzens “arrested” Sarah Everard in a fake Covid patrol before leading her to the car in which she was driven away to be raped and murdered.
The witness, who thought she was seeing an undercover police officer arresting a woman, assumed Sarah “must have done something wrong”, a courtroom heard today.
Tom Little QC, prosecuting, said: “They were in fact witnessing the kidnapping of Sarah Everard. She was detained by fraud”.
Details of Sarah’s last moments have been revealed at the Old Bailey this morning, at the beginning of a two-day sentencing hearing.
Couzens, a parliamentary and diplomatic protection officer at the time he carried out the horrendous crimes, has already admitted Sarah’s murder, kidnap and rape.
The cop used his knowledge of policing to facilitate the horror event; handcuffing and arresting the 33-year-old marketing executive in a fake Covid patrol before driving her 80 miles away.
Couzens, 48, stopped Sarah as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London.
He showed her his warrant card before making an ‘arrest’.
A couple driving past the scene saw Couzens in the process of handcuffing Ms Everard, before leading her towards his hire vehicle.
“The immediate impression the passenger formed was that she was witnessing an undercover police officer arresting a woman, whom she assumed ‘must have done something wrong’,”said Mr Little.
Mr Little said: “The circular route taken by the defendant as well as the areas in which he was driving are consistent with the defendant hunting for a lone young female to kidnap and rape.
“Sarah Everard is standing on the pavement, behind the car, facing the defendant who is a few feet away.
“The defendant appears to touch his belt and to be holding up his hand towards Sarah Everard, as if showing her something in it
“A couple were travelling on the south circulate in their car to their home address in South-East London and witnessed the kidnap of Sarah Everard.
“The front seat passenger noticed what she described as a man and a woman standing on the pavement with the man behind the woman.
“The man was wearing dark clothing and she started to watch more closely because she saw a handcuff.
“The woman on the pavement already had her left arm behind her back.
“She was in the process of “giving her other arm behind her back” as the man, who must have been the defendant, placed the handcuff on her right arm.
“She was compliant, with her head down and did not appear to be arguing. The defendant appeared to be confident.
“The immediate impression the passenger formed was that she was witnessing an undercover police officer arresting a woman, whom she assumed “must have done something wrong”.
“So surprised was the witness by what she had seen, as she considered it to be relatively unusual and not something she had ever witnessed before, she remarked to her husband, ‘I’ve just seen a woman being handcuffed’.
In chilling CCTV footage, Couzens is seen driving behind Ms Everard before stepping out of the car and standing a few feet apart from her.
Strapped in with no means of escaping from the car, Couzens began the 80 mile journey that would lead first to Sarah’s rape, then to her murder.
Mr Little noted that at some point fairly soon after driving from the pavement onto the South Circular and having not gone to a police station, Sarah must have “realised her fate”.
Couzens murdered Sarah after driving 80 miles to Kent, then burned her body and dumped it in a builder’s bag in a woodland stream near land he owned in Ashford, Kent.
He was arrested at his marital home in Deal, Kent, six days after Sarah’s disappearance.
Police had tracked his rental car, which he booked under his own name three days before the murder.
The hearing continues.