Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens made claimed an Eastern European gang made him kidnap the tragic marketing executive after he shortchanged a prostitute – in a bizarre attempt to get away with murder.
Former Metropolitan Police officer Couzens finally admitted the murder of Ms Everard in court on Friday (July 9) after earlier pleading guilty to her kidnap and rape.
It can now be reported that the 48-year-old concocted a strange, elaborate story when he was interviewed by police after his arrest that stemmed from his financial problems.
He told officers he had got into trouble with a gang of Eastern Europeans who threatened him and his family.
The gangsters demanded he deliver "another girl" after underpaying a prostitute a few weeks before, he claimed.
He then kidnapped Ms Everard, drove out of London and handed her over to three Eastern European men in a van in Kent, still alive and uninjured according to Couzens.
It can now be revealed that prosecutor Zoe Martin told Westminster Magistrates' Court in March that the gun carrying protection officer was immediately interviewed in an effort to locate Ms Everard.
He was recorded on a body worn camera first claiming that he did not recognise his victim from a photograph shown to him.
Ms Everard, 33, disappeared on the evening of March 3 as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London.
Couzens was arrested six days later at his home in Deal, Kent. Soon afterwards he told the police a pack of lie about an Eastern European gang.
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Ms Everard's remains were discovered in woodland near Ashford, Kent, on March 10.
Inquiries revealed that Couzens booked a Vauxhall Astra hire car and bought of roll of self-adhesive tape on Amazon days before the murder.
Two days after Ms Everard was last seen, he was caught on CCTV buying two green rubble bags at B&Q while he also went on to order tarpaulin and a bungee cargo net for delivery on March 7.
Sarah Everard: Killer cop Wayne Couzens hired car and bought duct tape before murder
A camera attached to a passing marked police car captured the victim walking alone at 9.32pm.
Just three minutes later, a bus camera appeared to capture the moment she was intercepted by Couzens in Balham, south London.
Tom Little QC, prosecuting, said the paid were not known to each other before Couzens kidnapped Ms Everard.
He said: "They were complete strangers to each other.
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"I say that because there had been in the build-up to the charging decision some reporting that they may have known each other. We wish to make that crystal clear."
Carolyn Oakley, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Wayne Couzens lied to the police when he was arrested and to date, he has refused to comment.
"We still do not know what drove him to commit this appalling crime against a stranger.
"Today is not the day for hearing the facts about what happened to Sarah. Today is a day to remember Sarah and our thoughts remain with her family and friends."
His sentencing has been adjourned to September 29.
Couzens's lawyer Jim Sturman QC said: "His pleas today represents a truly, genuine guilt and remorse for what he did and, as he put it to us this morning, he will bear the burden for the rest of his life – his words: ‘as I deserve’."
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