A serving Metropolitan Police officer has appeared in court charged with kidnapping and murdering Sarah Everard, who went missing in south London last week.

Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in person before Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the first time following his arrest on Tuesday.

He confirmed his name and address.

The case will be sent to a crown court in the coming days.

Ms Everard, a marketing executive originally from York, vanished on 3 March as she walked from the nearby Clapham Junction area to her home in Brixton.

She had been at a friend’s house when she left the property in Leathwaite Road around 9pm.

The last known sighting of the 33-year-old was captured on a doorbell camera just after 9.30pm showing her walking alone toward Tulse Hill.

Her body was found in woodland near Ashford, Kent, a week later.

Yesterday, Couzens was taken to hospital for the second time in 48 hours for treatment on a fresh head injury sustained in custody.

He was previously treated in hospital for a separate head wound on Thursday, also sustained in custody when he was alone in his cell.

Meanwhile, a woman in her 30s who was previously arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released on bail.

She is due to return to a police station in mid-April.

In an earlier statement announcing the charges against Couzens, the Met revealed his previous employment history in the force in the “interests of clarity”.

He joined the force in September 2018, when he worked with a response team that covered Bromley.

He was later posted to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February 2020.

Here, Couzens is said to have been mostly sent on uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises, including a range of embassies.

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Murder charge announced in Sarah Everard case

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard on Friday, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave paid tribute to Ms Everard’s family and friends for their “fortitude and forbearance through what can only have been the most intensely difficult few days”.

He added: “Our thoughts remain with them as this matter progresses.”

Ms Everard’s death has prompted an outpouring of grief from the public, with many women and girls sharing stories online of their own traumatic experiences.

A vigil planned by Reclaim These Streets in Clapham on Saturday evening has been cancelled following discussions with police.

Instead, organisers said a virtual gathering would be arranged.