Sarah Everard's killing prompted a national reckoning over violence against women

By Chris Harris
June 08, 2021 11:34 AM
Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard
| Credit: Metropolitan Police

Nearly three months after Sarah Everard's slain body was found in the woods 50 miles from where she was last seen, London Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping the 33-year-old marketing executive.

However, while accepts responsibility for killing Everard, Couzens, 48, was not asked Tuesday to enter a plea to the murder count he faces, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Couzens, a police constable who largely patrolled diplomatic premises, is due back at London's Old Bailey, the United Kingdom's central criminal court, on July 9.

It was unclear Tuesday if he would be asked to enter his plea to the murder charge on that date.

Everard disappeared back on March 3 while walking home from a friend's house at night in London.

On March 12, police confirmed that remains found in the woods in Kent, more than 50 miles away, were hers.

Her death and the search for a suspect prompted many women to share stories about fearing for their safety in public.

During a vigil for the victim held on March 13, police, citing COVID-19 restrictions, used force to try and disperse those in attendance.

Wayne Couzens
Wayne Couzens
| Credit: SWNS

Press at the scene captured footage of officers grabbing women at the event, which had evolved into a demonstration calling for an end to male violence in the country.

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Among those participating in the national outcry over Everard's death was Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, who stopped in March and left flowers by the memorial in Clapham Common, an area near Everard's home in in the Brixton neighborhood, where she was seen walking before her disappearance.

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"She wanted to pay her respects to Sarah and her family," a royal source told PEOPLE at the time. "She remembers what it felt like to walk around London at night."

As the search for Everard was underway, her family issued a statement through police that said: "Sarah was bright and beautiful - a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour."

"She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all," it continued. "We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives." 

PEOPLE has been unable to reach Everard's family for comment.