Sarah Everard police seal off new wooded area in Sandwich, Kent

Police have closed off a pathway in a Kent town as part of their investigation into the murder of Sarah Everard.

Met detectives have cordoned off a large area in Sandwich, 30 miles from the woodland where the body of the missing 33-year-old was discovered.  

Officers have been seen combing along the pathway next to a stream, and have set up a base in the town centre.

The path, called Rope Walk, goes through a wooded area that backs on houses on one side.

Scotland Yard would not comment on the new area of investigation, but the local council confirmed that the pathway had been taped off. 

Met detectives have cordoned a large area in Sandwich, 30 miles from the woodland where the body of the missing 33-year-old was discovered

Met detectives have cordoned a large area in Sandwich, 30 miles from the woodland where the body of the missing 33-year-old was discovered

Met detectives have cordoned a large area in Sandwich, 30 miles from the woodland where the body of the missing 33-year-old was discovered

The council told Kent Online: ‘Sandwich Town Council is in contact with Kent Police on behalf of the Metropolitan Police in relation to ongoing investigations associated to the murder of Sarah Everard.

‘Police have requested that residents do not gather trying to ascertain information or details.

‘The police have cordoned off the Rope Walk between Malcolm Waites Garage/Cow Leas Meadow all the way through the town.’

The public has been advised to stay away from the area in order to follow lockdown restrictions. 

A spokesperson for Met Police said: ‘Police have been searching areas in London and Kent as part of the investigation. We are not giving a running commentary.’

Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with Ms Everard’s murder and kidnap after disappeared as she walked home to Brixton from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on March 3.

The 48-year-old, from Deal, appeared in court to confirm his name and address during a short hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. 

The court heard Miss Everard’s body was found inside a builder’s bag in Kent and identified through the use of dental records.

Appearing in court wearing a grey tracksuit and bearing a red mark on his head, Couzens stood as the charges were put to him before being remanded in custody before his case is sent to the Old Bailey on March 16.

The Met Police revealed that Couzens joined the force two years ago in September 2018 when he worked for a response team covering the Bromley area.

He then moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February last year. 

The disappearance of Sarah Everard and the arrest of armed policeman Wayne Couzens

March 3: Sarah disappeared after leaving friend’s home Clapham around 9pm. She leaves out of her friend’s back gate and speaks to her boyfriend on the phone for 15 minutes.  

March 5: Sarah’s family share missing posters of her after they become increasingly concerned that she is still not home, spreading the word online with links to the Missing People charity.

March 6: Met Police release an appeal, saying Sarah was thought to have walked through Clapham Common, heading towards Brixton home, a journey of 50 minutes. They say they are not certain she ever arrived home.

March 7: Police release footage of Ms Everard and say she was walking alone on A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill when she was last seen on CCTV, which has not been released to the police.

March 8: Specialist officers are drafted and 120 calls from public come in. A door-to-door operation sees police speak to 750 families.

March 9: Police search gardens near Ms Everard’s route and nearby Oaklands Estate.

Officers also search a pond in Clapham Common and drains along the A205.

Cordon around the Poynders Court housing complex on Poynders Road, forensics officers on scene.

11.59pm: Met police officer Wayne Couzens arrested in Kent on suspicion of kidnap. A woman in her 30s is arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Neighbours say they spotted a Land Rover containing two men watching the property for two hours before around 20 officers raided the house. 

March 10: Specialist police search team arrives in Kent. They search Couzens’ home and garden as well as nearby Betteshanger Park which is around two-and-a-half- miles from the house as well as an abandoned leisure complex in Great Chart near Ashford. 

8pm: Dame Cressida Dick confirms human remains were found in woodland in Ashford, Kent in the search for Sarah.  She was unable to confirm whether the remains belonged to the missing woman. 

March 11:  10am: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘shocked and deeply saddened by the developments in the Sarah Everard investigation’, adding ‘we must work fast to find all the answers to this horrifying crime’.

Home Secretary Priti Patel added: ‘Every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets without fear of harassment or violence. At this deeply sad and tragic time as we think and pray for Sarah and her family’. 

4pm: Police later confirm the suspect was treated in hospital for a head injury sustained while in custody, before being returned to a police station.

Ms Everard’s family release a statement paying tribute to her as a ‘shining example to us all’, adding that she ‘brought so much joy to our lives’.

The Met reveals an extension to the suspect’s detention was granted by a magistrates’ court, while the woman arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender is released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April. 

6pm: Organisers of a vigil for Ms Everard say they are seeking legal action against the Met after claiming the force reversed its position on allowing the event planned for March 13 to go ahead.

March 12: Searches ramp up in the tunnels carved into the White Cliffs of Dover that run around and below Couzens’ former family garage. 

Teams remain at Couzens’ home in Deal and in woodland near Ashford where human remains were found. 

2pm: Scotland Yard confirms the body found in Kent woodland is Sarah. Her family have been informed.

9pm: Wayne Couzens is charged with the murder and kidnapping of Miss Everard. 

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