The serving police officer accused of murdering Sarah Everard originally worked in the Bromley area after joining the force in 2018, according to the Met.

Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, is charged with kidnapping and murdering the 33-year-old marketing executive, who went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3.

Her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday and was formally identified through dental records.

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Three years ago, he began his career working as part of a response team in south east London.

A Met spokesperson said: “He joined a response team covering the Bromley area. He then moved to the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command on 1 February 2020, where his primary role was on uniformed patrol duties of diplomatic premises, mainly a range of embassies.”

Couzens appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning for his first appearance following his arrest on Tuesday.

He arrived at the central London court at 10am, stepping into the dock around 10.30am.

He wore a grey tracksuit and appeared to have a small red wound on the top of his forehead.

Couzens spoke only to confirm his name and personal details, sitting between two plain-clothes officers in the dock and leaning forward for most of the hearing.

Before his court appearance, Scotland Yard said that Couzens, of Deal in Kent, was taken to hospital for a second time in 48 hours on Friday for treatment to another head injury sustained in custody.