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UK officer accused of citing COVID to detain slaying victim

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LONDON (AP) — A prosecutor has argued that a serving London police officer handcuffed a woman on the pretext of breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules before he kidnapped and killed her. Wayne Couzens appeared at London’s Central Criminal Court charged with the kidnap, rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard. She disappeared while walking home from visiting a friend in south London on March 3. Couzens has pleaded guilty to the charges. He sat in court with his head bowed as members of Everard’s family listened to the prosecutor outline his case. The prosecutor said Couzens wore his police belt with handcuffs and used his police identification when he detained Everard “by fraud.” The case has sparked national outrage and triggered large-scale protests denouncing violence against women.