LONDON (AP) – A British police officer accused of kidnapping and killing a woman in London has appeared in court for the first time on Saturday.
Wayne Cousins, 48, is accused of kidnapping and killing 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who went missing on her way home from a friend in south London on the evening of March 3.
The case has sparked a national outcry, with the Metropolitan Police outraged by the arrest of his own for the crime. The force noted that Cousins joined the ranks in 2018, and most recently served in the Parliamentary պաշտպանության Diplomatic Defense Command, an armed unit responsible for the London Embassies և Parliament.
Kuzens, who was wearing a gray tracksuit, stood as the charges against him were read out during a brief hearing on Saturday. He was arrested on Tuesday before the Central Criminal Court in London.
Everard’s body was found hidden in a wooded area in south-east London on Wednesday.
In the wake of her disappearance and murder, many women have taken to social media to share their own experiences of being threatened or attacked while walking outside.
Some had planned to hold a vigil in memory of Everard on Saturday, but a High Court judge said such a gathering was illegal because of coronavirus restrictions.
The metro police on Saturday stressed that they “share the nation’s anger over this atrocity” and understood the organizers’ frustration that the rally should be canceled, but said they could be vigilant against the COVID-19 threat.