Couzens was later arrested at his home in Kent, near where Everard’s body was found. Prosecutors said in July that Everard and Couzens “were complete strangers to each other” before kidnapping him by the side of the road.
Prosecutor Tom Little told the Old Bailey on Wednesday Couzens lured Everard in a rental car by “handcuffing her and showing her her warrant card”.
Little also detailed what eyewitnesses to the kidnapping saw, saying they saw Couzens handcuff Everard, who appeared submissive and had his head bowed. They thought he was an undercover cop who was arresting a woman.
Everard was alive for hours after his kidnapping and was transferred to Couzens’ own car later that evening, the prosecutor said. “To do this and without her escaping or trying to escape or making noise, it can be inferred that he at least had to threaten her,” Little told the court.
Prosecutors believe Everard died around 2:30 a.m. on March 4, several hours after her abduction by Couzens. They believe it happened before 2:34 a.m., when Couzens went to a gas station and “bought two bottles of water, an apple juice, a Lucozade Orange and a carrying bag,” said Little said.
“There is no CCTV of the gas station at the material time due to a system upgrade. However, the accused was not to know of this and to have left her alive (even in the seat trunk) would have been reckless, ”Little said.
Couzens burned Everard’s body in the Kent woods, the court heard. “He was to burn Sarah Everard’s body after murdering her. He then moved her body into green bags that he had purchased specifically for this task,” Little said.
Couzens then took his wife and two children on a trip to the same area a few days later. “It follows that the accused (…) took his family on a family trip to the very woods where, a few days earlier, he had left Sarah Everard’s body, then returned to burn it and is came back again to move it and hide it, ”Little said.
Little also said Couzens told his family he was working on the night of March 3, when he kidnapped and then murdered Everard.
Couzens, who passed the hearing with his eyes closed and his head bowed, must be sentenced on Thursday. He should receive a mandatory life sentence.
An epidemic of violence
Everard’s disappearance has sparked a wave of grief and rage on social media from women sharing their own experiences of sexual assault, while highlighting the epidemic of violence against women and girls in the Kingdom -United.
A woman is killed by a man on average every three days in the UK, according to data from the Femicide Census, an organization that tracks violence against women and girls. The group argues that the government’s new strategy to tackle such violence “shamefully ignores” femicide victims.
Couzens joined the Met in September 2018 and was assigned to a response team covering the Bromley area in south-east London. He then joined the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February 2020, where his “primary role was to provide uniformed patrols of diplomatic premises, primarily a range of embassies,” according to a Met statement.
CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark, Kara Fox, Livvy Doherty, and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.