LONDON (AFP): A former UK policeman jailed for life for the kidnap, rape and murder of London woman Sarah Everard pleaded guilty on Monday to three counts of indecent exposure.
Wayne Couzens admitted to the incidents between November 2020 and February 2021, a month before he falsely arrested Everard, 33, as she walked home.
The counts of indecent exposure, which took place in woodland and a fast food restaurant in Kent, southeast England, emerged after his conviction.
They form part of an official inquiry that is looking into whether he could have been stopped before he killed Everard, had prior allegations been more fully investigated.
He entered the guilty pleas at London’s Old Bailey criminal court by video link from the jail where he is serving a whole-life sentence for the murder.
Couzens, 49, had a long grey beard and wore a grey tracksuit. He will be sentenced on March 6.
Since the killing of Everard, a string of other shocking cases involving London police officers have also come to light.
Last week, David Carrick was jailed for life, with a minimum term of more than 30 years, for dozens of rapes and sexual assaults stretching back to 2002.
Carrick, 48, and Couzens served at one point in the same armed unit protecting MPs and foreign diplomats.
“We know the public will, understandably, be sickened at yet more grotesque crimes by Couzens,” said police deputy assistant commissioner for professionalism, Bas Javid.
“The process of flushing out the corrupt and the criminal… will be slow and painful, but is necessary and we will continue to do so. This is how we will reform, move forward and become an institution Londoners can have confidence in.”
Interior minister Suella Braverman said the independent inquiry probing the Couzens case would be broadened to look at how Carrick remained undetected for so long.
Following the Carrick case, head of Scotland Yard Mark Rowley vowed to clean up the service and apologized for letting women down, promising to earn back their trust and give Londoners the police service they deserve.