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Tragic new details emerge about Sarah Everard's murder

More details have emerged about the murder of Sarah Everard as mourners clashed with police during a vigil in her honour.

Wayne Couzens, 44, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, was charged with allegedly murdering and kidnapping of Ms Everard, 33, on Friday after her body was found in woodlands south of London.

Couzens appeared at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning wearing a grey tracksuit and spoke only to confirm his identity.

Sarah Everard, 33, is pictured.
Sarah Everard, 33, was allegedly murdered by a police officer. Source: ITV News

Couzens's lawyer did not enter a plea to the charges of kidnap and murder ahead of a fuller court hearing scheduled for Tuesday. Couzens remains in custody.

The court heard that Ms Everard’s body was found in a builder's refuse bag, and had to be identified using dental records.

Mourners, police clash at vigil

Police and mourners have clashed over a planned candlelit vigil for Ms Everard at Clapham Common, near where the 33-year-old was last seen walking after dinner with friends.

Commander Catherine Roper, the Met’s lead for Community Engagement, said in a statement on Friday the vigil could not go ahead because of Covid restrictions and thanked organisers for cancelling it.

Wayne Couzens, 44, is pictured.
Wayne Couzens, 44, has been charged with murder and kidnapping. Source: Sky News

“We take no joy in this event being cancelled, but it is the right thing to do given the real and present threat of Covid-19,” she said.

“Throughout the week we have had a number of talks with the organisers of the vigil. These talks have undoubtedly been challenging and officers have worked hard to explain the regulations and why gatherings such as this cannot go ahead at this time.”

The UK has more than 4.2 million cases of Covid-19 and 125,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Police detain a woman as people gather at a memorial site in Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, in London.
Police detain a mourner remembered Ms Everard at Clapham Common Bandstand. Police are being criticised for their response. Source: Reuters (REUTERS)

Reclaim These Streets said it would host an online meeting and asked supporters around the country to take part in a doorstep tribute with candles and lights.

But early on Saturday (local time), hundreds, including Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, showed up at Clapham Common to remember Ms Everard, with many people leaving notes and flowers.

As more people arrived during the evening, some chanted "sisters united will never be defeated”.

Police stormed in and tried to disperse the crowds gathered around a bandstand. Video footage shows scuffles and some women forced to the floor.

A woman is arrested during a vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common in London, United Kingdom.
Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan has criticised the police response. Source: Getty Images (Getty Images)

London Mayor calls police response 'unacceptable'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the scenes from Clapham Common were "unacceptable."

"The police have a responsibility to enforce Covid laws but from images I've seen it's clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate," Cr Khan tweeted.

"I'm in contact with the Commissioner and urgently seeking an explanation."

British interior minister Priti Patel said "some of the footage circulating online from the vigil in Clapham is upsetting."

"I have asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report on what happened," she tweeted.

with Reuters

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