Met officers deny offensive WhatsApp messages with murderer Wayne Couzens
Two serving Met police constables and an ex-officer have denied sharing grossly offensive WhatsApp messages with Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens.
PC Jonathon Cobban, PC William Neville, and former officer Joel Borders appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier today after being accused of various counts of sending “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing” messages to the killer.
The offences relate to communications in a group chat between April and August 2019, two years before Everard was murdered.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the charges arose from an investigation into the phone records of Couzens following his arrest last year.
The officers were initially given anonymity by the Crown Prosecution Service, but this was later removed following complaints from open justice campaigners,
The defendants have been released on bail, with a trial set for 28 July.
Couzens is serving whole life sentence for the kidnap, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard in March last year.
It emerged the 48-year-old was known as ‘the rapist’ by members of the force because of his behaviour towards female colleagues. He was also accused of indecent exposure in 2015 and days before Everard’s murder.
Everard’s murder has fed into the erosion of public trust in the Met.