Sarah Everard murder suspect appears in court – and faces trial later this year

The police officer accused of the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard faces trial later this year.

PC Wayne Couzens, 48, is accused of snatching the marketing executive, 33, as she walked home from a friend's flat in Clapham, south London on March 3.

Her body was found hidden inside a large builder’s bag in woodland in Ashford, Kent on March 10.

Couzens, a Metropolitan Police officer, appeared at London’s Old Bailey on Tuesday, March 16, by video link from high-security Belmarsh jail.

Wearing a red sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms, he appeared to have a wound on his forehead and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

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A provisional trial was set for October 25, with a plea hearing on July 9.

Members of Sarah’s family joined the hearing by video link.

Tom Little QC, prosecuting, said the circumstances of the case had led to a "very significant and wide-ranging investigation".

Couzens, of Deal, Kent, was charged with kidnap and murder last Friday and appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

He is charged with “unlawfully and by force or fraud“ taking Sarah against her will on Poynders Road on March 3.

Couzens is further accused of murdering her “on or about” the same day.

He sat with his head bowed throughout the hearing and was remanded into custody.

Sarah was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4, the day after she was last seen.

After her body was found, she was formally identified through her dental records.

A post-mortem examination has taken place but no cause of death has yet been given.

On the night she vanished, she had left a friend’s house at around 9pm to make the 2.5mile journey home to nearby Brixton.

She called her boyfriend for around 14 minutes and there has been no activity on her mobile phone since.

Couzens, who worked on the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, was not on duty at the time of Sarah’s disappearance.

Her death has sparked vigils across the country in her memory, including at Clapham Common.

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