Then a serving police officer, Couzens kidnapped Everard from Clapham, south London by using his knowledge of the Covid police patrols so she did not resist, it was said during his two-day trial at the Old Bailey.
Everard was believed to be breaching Covid regulations by visiting a friend for dinner during a national lockdown back in March.
Couzens reportedly flashed his warrant card, then restrained the marketing executive and put her in his hire car all in less than five minutes. He went on to rape and murder her in Kent.
The Times’ crime reporter Fiona Hamilton tweeted: “PC Wayne Couzens was seen handcuffing Sarah Everard on a road in Clapham – she was compliant because he used the guise of Covid restrictions to ‘arrest’ her.”
A global campaign against female violence was sparked after Everard’s disappearance and subsequent death was discovered.
Couzens lost his job as a police officer when he pleaded guilty to her murder in July.
This latest detail from the ongoing court case has rocked the online community, particularly in light of Sabina Nessa’s recent murder in London.
One account tweeted: “My head hurts, what she [Everard] must have gone through as she realised what was happening to her, it’s horrific.
“How are we supposed to feel safe? How do I tell my daughter to trust the man in the uniform is there to keep her safe? @Metpolice need to do some serious work.”
Another noted: “Women encountering a lone male officer have every reason to be scared.”
Others described it as “so, so dark and grim”, while some asked what would happen next in the relationship between police officers and the public.
Harriet Marsden tweeted: “Can we look at women getting handcuffed in the same way? Can we look at police in the same way? Where do we go from here?”
Some accounts referred back to Couzens’ reputation back when he was on the police force.
Feminist and author Caroline Criado Perez tweeted: “I can’t stop thinking about his colleagues who were turning a blind eye to his escalating behaviour.”
Journalist Ash Sarkar also tweeted about Couzens’ past, as he was reportedly nicknamed “The Rapist” long before he killed Everard.
Human rights barrister Adam Wagner tweeted about the Reclaim The Streets’ vigil earlier this year, which was disrupted by the police for breaching Covid laws.
He said: “There is also a bitter irony that when @ReclaimTS attempted to organise a peaceful vigil in memory of Sarah Everard, it was the clear and oppressive Covid laws which were used by the police to prohibit them from doing so.”
Couzens is set to be sentenced on Thursday, September 30.