Three police officers who worked with Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens have been charged over allegations they shared racist and misogynistic messages with him. Two serving Metropolitan police officers and one former officer have been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on WhatsApp, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) sent prosecutors a file on allegations the three shared racist and misogynistic messages with Couzens between April and August 2019. The three are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 16. The CPS said it cannot confirm the names of the officers for operational reasons.
“Grossly offensive messages”
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said:
Following a referral of evidence by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the CPS has authorised charges against two serving Metropolitan Police officers and one former officer.
All three will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 16 March for their first hearing.
Each of the three defendants has been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network. The alleged offences took place on a WhatsApp group chat.
The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges to a court to consider.
Criminal proceedings are active and nothing should be published that could jeopardise the defendants right to a fair trial.
We’re a thorn in the side of the establishment, but we can’t do it without your help
Your fight is our fight. But as many of you will know, speaking truth to power has never been easy, especially for a small, independent media outlet such as the Canary. We have weathered many attempts to silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media. Now more than ever, we need your support.
We don’t have fancy offices, and our entire staff works remotely. Almost all of our income is spent on paying the people who make the Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our team and enables us to continue to do what we do: disrupt power, and amplify people.
But we can’t do this without you. So please, if you appreciate our work, can you help us continue the fight?