The Daily Telegraph

Rogue officers to face justice after Couzens Whatsapp case

- By Catherine Lough

THE Met has warned that more officers could expect to face justice after a “despicable” case in which colleagues shared misogynist­ic and racist comments with Wayne Couzens.

The judge said the officers involved viewed their Whatsapp group as a “safe space” after they mocked domestic violence victims, Muslims and those with disabiliti­es in a group that included the man convicted for the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Commander John Savell condemned the “despicable” behaviour and the “repulsive” messages. He added that the Met was “determined to rid this organisati­on of those who corrupt its integrity, and are increasing our efforts to do that more quickly”. As a result, more cases could emerge, he said.

Yesterday, Joel Borders, 45, a former police officer, and Jonathon Cobban, 34, were found guilty by District Judge Sarah Turnock of sending grossly offensive messages in the Whatsapp group.

Borders was found guilty of sending grossly offensive messages after he said he “can’t wait to get on the guns so I can shoot some c---”. The judge called messages sent on April 5 2019 “abhorrent” adding that comments about a “couple of downys”, derogatory slang for people with Down’s syndrome, demonstrat­ed an “ableist attitude”. Cobban was also found guilty of this charge.

Borders was found guilty of sending grossly offensive messages on April 25 2019, when he said he would be “locked up” for sexually assaulting a colleague.

A third charge related to Borders and Cobban on June 21 2019, where Borders said domestic violence victims “just don’t listen”. The judge also said Cobban’s comment that such victims “love it” implied they were responsibl­e for the harm they experience­d.

For comments made on June 29 2019, in which Borders described going through Feltham as “feeling like a spot on a domino”, the pair were found guilty. Cobban said of Hounslow: “There goes pussy patrol…more like fgm patrol,” and Borders said: “Hounslow twinned with Baghdad.” The judge said the comments showed “a deeply racist attitude on the part of both”.

Cobban was also found guilty of sending grossly offensive messages for saying on August 9 2019 that someone he was charged with protecting was an “attention-seeking self-harming fag”.

The judge adjourned sentencing until Nov 2, telling Borders and Cobban: “These offences, make no mistake about it, are extremely serious. You both face a very real prospect, in my opinion, of going to prison.”

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