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Autumn trial date set for police officer accused of Sarah Everard murder

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A police officer is due to go on trial in the autumn for the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard

Pc Wayne Couzens 48, is accused of snatching the 33-year-old marketing executive as she walked home from a friend’s flat in Clapham south London, on the evening of March 3.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police officer made his first appearance at the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh top security jail in south London.

Wearing a red sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms, the defendant appeared to have a wound on his forehead.

He spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Members of Ms Everard’s family joined the hearing in court 10 of the Central Criminal Court by video link, according to court officials.

Sarah Everard (Family/PA) / PA Media

Prosecutor Tom Little QC said the circumstances of the case had led to a “very significant and wide-ranging investigation”.

He told the court the case had attracted an “almost unprecedented media and public attention”.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC set a provisional Old Bailey trial for October 25 with a plea hearing on July 9.

Couzens, who sat with his head bowed throughout the hearing, was remanded into custody.

Ms Everard was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4.

Her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on March 10.

She was discovered inside a large builder’s bag and was formally identified through her dental records.

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

Couzens, who worked on the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, had finished a shift earlier on the morning of March 3 and was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard’s disappearance.

The officer, from Deal in Kent, was charged with kidnap and murder on Friday and appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court the following day.

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