Crime & Justice

Man accused of Everard murder appears in UK court

London, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- A London police officer accused of the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard appeared at the Old Bailey criminal court on Tuesday.

Wayne Couzens joined the session via videoconference from Belmarsh prison and only spoke to confirm his name and date of birth.

Judge Mark Lucraft set the provisional trial for the case on 25 October.

Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, disappeared on 3 March as she walked home via Clapham Common, in London. Her body was found in a Kent woodland the following week.

The case has caused uproar in the United Kingdom and has reignited the public debate on women’s safety and male violence.

Couzens, 48, a father of two, will remain in custody until a preliminary hearing on 9 July.

A number of Everard’s family members followed the proceedings online.

The public reaction to Everard’s disappearance has prompted the UK government to announce new measures to tackle male violence, including a pledge to invest in better street-lighting.

The latest proposal from the government to deploy undercover officers to bars and nightclubs has been strongly criticized by women’s rights groups and the opposition Labour Party.

Further controversy arose when London’s Metropolitan Police Service decided to break up a vigil for Everard at Clapham Common on Saturday.

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