Sarah Everard: Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to murder
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Shortly after Sarah was reported missing, detectives started poring over images from cameras around Clapham Common on the night of March 3. A breakthrough came when they viewed footage from a bus camera showing two figures beside a white Vauxhall Astra. Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology, officers were able to trace the car’s journey. Police were also able to pinpoint his movements using cell-site analysis of his mobile phone – even though he had wiped all the data.
Couzens was arrested on March 9 – six days after he kidnapped Sarah. Her body was discovered the following day.
In a brief interview on arrest, he told officers he was forced to kidnap her on the orders of a foreign vice gang.
Zoe Martin, prosecuting at London’s Westminster magistrates’ court in March, said: “He stated he had financial difficulties and he was being threatened by Eastern Europeans. He had underpaid a prostitute. As a consequence he had to deliver them another girl. If he didn’t, they would harm him and his family.”
Couzens said he was flashed by a Mercedes with a Romanian number plate and pulled into a layby in Kent.
“Three Eastern European men got out of the van and took [Sarah] and she was alive and well at that stage,” Ms Martin said.
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