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A serving London Metropolitan officer and his former police colleague have been warned they could face time behind bars after being convicted on Wednesday of posting “racist” and “misogynistic” messages in a WhatsApp group that included Sarah’s killer. Everard, according to reports.
Metropolitan Police officer Jonathon Cobban and former police constable Joel Borders were found guilty on Wednesday of sending an extremely offensive, indecent, obscene or threatening message over a public electronic communications network, The Guardian reported. .
A third officer, Police Constable William Neville, who had been in the same WhatsApp group with Everard’s convicted murderer, Wayne Couzens, was found not guilty of the same offense and has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
In September 2021, Couzens, a former Met police officer, was sentenced to life in prison for falsely arresting Everard, 33, in March as she was returning home from a friend’s house, raping and strangling her to death before to burn it the woman’s body.
POLICE OFFICER WHO MURDERED SARAH EVERARD SENTENCED TO LIFE
Announcing the outcome of the trial at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Judge Sarah Turnock said the defendants considered the WhatsApp group, called “Bottle and Stoppers”, to be “a safe space, involving some like-minded people, that they had free rein to share deeply offensive and controversial messages without fear of reprisal.
“Social networks cannot be a hiding place for these kinds of opinions,” Sal Naseem, regional director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), told the BBC after the ruling. “Behavior of this nature seriously undermines public confidence in the police.”
Borders and Cobban exchanged chat messages in 2019 describing themselves as “jokes,” including alleged jokes about guns and children, cats, dogs and people with Down syndrome, and referred to the London borough of Hounslow as a “sh-Somali”. hole,” The Evening Standard reported.
Turnock condemned the comments as “abhorrent” and said Borders “demonstrates a capable attitude by adding a disabled person to Cobban’s disgusting list of victims.”
On April 25, 2019, Borders posted a message to the WhatsApp group joking about the rape of a fellow police officer, whom he described as a “c—- cunning.” The judge said such a comment was “misogynistic and aggressive in nature and is a clear example of blaming the victim.”
“The behavior of these officers is despicable, and I condemn them for sending such grossly offensive and repulsive messages. It is amazing that they consider this language defensible,” Metropolitan Police Commander Jon Savell said in a statement, according to The Evening Standard. “We expect our officers to hold the highest standards of conduct. We are determined to rid this organization of those who corrupt its integrity and are increasing our efforts to do so more quickly. As a result, we may see more cases arise, as we do not let unturned stone to address offensive behavior.
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A sentencing hearing for Cobban and Borders is scheduled for November 2.