Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Everard

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Killer PC Wayne Couzens lied to police that he was blackmailed into abducting Sarah Everard by gangsters he owed money after shortchanging prostitutes.

Cowardly Couzens tried to escape justice by spinning a story that had been forced into grabbing a woman by Eastern European pimps who had threatened his family.

He came up with the fantastical tale shortly after being arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, where he lived with his wife and two young children.

Couzens pleaded guilty on Friday to Sarah's murder, and 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 Sarah.

Sarah Everard, 33, was originally from York and worked as a marketing executive
(Image: PA)

He was recorded on a body worn camera first claiming that he did not recognise his victim from a photograph shown to him.

But then Couzens claimed that he had been in financial difficulties and his family were being threatened.

Ms Martin said: “He said two or three weeks ago he had underpaid a prostitute and he usually met prostitutes at a hotel called the Holiday Inn in Folkestone.

Police search Couzens' home in Deal, Kent, following Ms Everard's disappearance
(Image: Phil Harris)

“A gang with links to this prostitute told him that as a consequence he had to deliver them what he termed 'another girl'.

“They said that if he didn't they would harm his family. He also said that the gang had been watching him at his house.

“He said that as a result of that he then kidnapped Sarah Everard and drove her out of London.”

Couzens claimed that when he got between Ashford and Maidstone he was flashed by a Mercedes Sprinter van with Romanian number plates.

Officers search a woodland near Ashford, Kent, following the disappearance of Ms Everard
(Image: PA)

He pulled into a lay-by and three Eastern European men took Sarah between 11 and 11.30pm on March 3, he said.

He said she was still alive and uninjured when he delivered her to the men.

Couzens invented a description of the men and showed detectives a rough location of where he met them on a map.

The entire story had been concocted by Couzens who later admitted raping, kidnapping and killing Sarah when confronted with incontrovertible CCTV and forensic evidence.

Speaking following Friday's hearing, Carolyn Oakley, CPS Specialist Prosecutor, said: "Today Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard.

"This plea is as a result of a great deal of hard work by the prosecution team. The police should be commended for their thorough and tireless investigation into Sarah’s disappearance.

“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.”