Sarah Everard murder: London policeman presented in court after woman’s murder provokes outrage

Sarah Everard murder: London policeman presented in court after woman’s murder provokes outrage

On Saturday, a 48 year old London police officer appeared in court for the first time after being charged with murder of a woman. The murder case has caused widespread concern in Britain about women’s safety.

On 3rd March, 33 year old Sarah Everard disappeared when she was walking home in south London after visiting a friend. Later it was found that she was kidnapped and murdered by a man identified as Wayne Couzens. On Wednesday her remains were found in woodland which is approximately 50 miles away in southeast England.

After her killing came into limelight, many women came forward and shared their personal experiences and fears of walking alone on streets at night. They demanded for action to tackle this.

The culprit Wayne Couzens is still in custody. When he was produced at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, he only spoke to confirm his identity. His lawyers did not file a plea to the charges. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Wayne was arrested at his home on Tuesday.  Before his arrest, Wayne guarded foreign embassies. He had joined London’s Metropolitan Police in 2018.

Several campaigners had earlier decided to commemorate Everard with a vigil. The vigil was planned to be conducted on Saturday evening at the same place where she disappeared.

However on Saturday morning, it was cancelled as police warned them that they could risk arrest for not following the Covid restrictions on outdoor social gatherings.

Organisers from the group Reclaim These Streets said, “In light of the lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police, we do not feel that we can in good faith allow tonight’s event to go ahead.”

On Saturday morning, the public laid flowers at the bandstand in Clapham Common in southwest London, near where the vigil had been planned to take place.

Metropolitan Police Commander Catherine Roper said, “We take no joy in this event being cancelled, but it is the right thing to do given the real and present threat of Covid-19.”

According to Covid rules in England, people are only allowed to meet outdoors with one person outside their household.

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