Floral tributes for Sarah Everard are seen in London, Britain, on March 16. Police officer Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty on Friday in her murder. Photo by Andy Rain/ EPA-EFE
July 9 (UPI) -- A London police officer pleaded guilty on Friday to abducting and killing a 33-year-old woman last spring as she was walking home from a friend's house.
London Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens entered the plea during an appearance at the Central Criminal Court in London.
At the hearing, he admitted to being responsible for the death of marketing executive Sarah Everard, who disappeared in March. Couzens, 48, was arrested that month and Everard's body was found in a wooded area near Ashford in Kent.
"His pleas today represents a truly guilty plea and remorse for what he did and ... he will bear the burden for the rest of his life -- [in] his words, 'as I deserve,'" Couzens' attorney Jim Sturman said Friday, according to Sky News.
London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she's heartbroken for Everard's family and disappointed that Couzens harmed the policing profession.
"Everyone in policing feels betrayed," Dick said in a statement. "Sarah was a fantastic, talented young woman with her whole life ahead of her and that has been snatched away. She was hugely loved and she will be sorely missed by so many people."
Couzens, who transferred into the Metropolitan Police from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary in 2018, has not yet given a reason for why he killed Everard.
"All of us ... are sickened, angered and devastated by this man's truly dreadful crimes," Dick added. "We are hugely indebted to Sarah's family, friends and so many members of the public who helped the investigation in every single way they could."