Former police officer pleads not guilty to four counts of exposure in weeks before murder
Wayne Couzens, the killer of Sarah Everard, has denied indecently exposing himself in the weeks before he kidnapped her.
The 49-year old made a brief court appearance by video link on Tuesday where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of exposure over alleged incidents of flashing on four occasions in 2021, while he was a police officer
The four incidents of alleged exposure are said to have taken place in Swanley, Kent, between 22 January and 1 February, between 30 January and 6 February, and on 14 February and 27 February.
Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey by video link from Frankland prison in County Durham before Judge Mark Lucraft QC, who has not yet set a date for his trial on the indecent exposure allegations.
Wearing a grey sweatshirt, Couzens initially spoke to confirm his identity.
Lucraft set a timetable for the case with further hearings due to take place at the Old Bailey over three days from 1 November.
The prosecutor Tom Little QC observed: “With no allocated trial judge at the moment it is not possible to even provisionally fix a trial date given the circumstances.”
Lucraft confirmed that the moment a decision was made on who would try the case, all parties would be informed and efforts made to set a trial date.
The case had been sent to the Old Bailey last month following a hearing at Westminster magistrates court.
The chief magistrate, Paul Goldspring, had said the case was suitable for trial at the magistrates court but Couzens opted for it to be heard at a crown court.
The former police officer is serving a whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Everard, who he abducted on 3 March 2021.
He is a former garage mechanic who first joined the Civil Nuclear Constabulary before transferring to the Met in 2018.
At the time of his arrest in March 2021, days after Everard disappeared, he was serving in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection unit. He lived in Deal, Kent.
Everard’s remains were recovered from woodland near Ashford in Kent, about 20 miles west of Couzens’ home in Deal, a week after she disappeared. A postmortem showed that she died from compression of the neck.