Murderer cop Wayne Couzens hatched his evil kidnap plot weeks before he raped and killed Sarah Everard, reports say.
The Metropolitan Police officer handcuffed and arrested his victim in a fake Covid patrol before he raped and murdered her, a court heard on Wednesday.
He used his knowledge as a serving officer to detain Sarah before driving her into the countryside – ultimately hiding her body in a fridge.
The Old Bailey heard Sarah was deceived by Couzens as she made her way home from a friend’s house on March 3 this year.
She vanished as she walked through Clapham in south London after Couzens had been driving for hours around the city.
And just three days before, he had taken out a hire car in Devon and had even bought handcuffs from Amazon for the crime.
Couzens appears to have planned to commit a heinous crime weeks before.
On February 10, he was said to have bought a “police standard-issue handcuff key with double locking pin” from Amazon, at a price of £2.49.
Soon after, he bought a 600mm by 100mm roll of self-adhesive film from Amazon to use in the later attack.
Couzens had worked on ‘Covid patrols’ in the weeks before the murder.
Detectives believe he used the pandemic as an excuse to ‘detain’ his victim as she walked along the street. He spent weeks planning the crime and booked a hire car to use in the kidnap three days before abducting Sarah.
Married dad-of-two Couzens spent hours driving around west and south London before targeting his victim.
Prosecutor Tom Little said: “The circular route taken by the defendant as well as the areas in which he was driving are consistent with the defendant hunting for a lone young female to kidnap and rape.”
Couzens, a parliamentary and diplomatic protection officer at the time of his horrendous crimes, was arrested at his marital home in Deal, Kent, six days after Sarah’s disappearance.
Police had tracked down his rental car – which he booked under his own name three days before the murder.
Her killing prompted outrage across the UK and sparked protests at the rate of violence against women.
Sarah’s family came face-to-face with Couzens for the first time as they sat in the well of a packed court.
Her father told Couzens to look at him as he read out his heartbreaking victim impact statement to the court.
Jeremy Everard said: “The horrendous murder of my daughter, Sarah, is in my mind all the time and will be for the rest of my life.
“A father wants to look after his children and fix everything and you have deliberately and with premeditation stopped my ability to do that.”