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Suspended Police officers accused of sharing offensive messages with Sarah Everard killer Wayne Couzens

'Each of the three defendants has been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network'

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Wayne Couzens

Wayne Couzens

Wayne Couzens

Three police officers have been charged over allegations they shared racist and misogynistic messages with Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens. 

Two serving Metropolitan Police officers and one former officer who worked with Couzens have been accused of the sending the grossly offensive messages on WhatsApp, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Couzens was given a whole life sentence last year for killing Everard during a fake arrest, while a serving member of the Metropolitan Police.

He murdered the 33-year-old after abducting her on 3 March 2021 in south London.

The three are due to appear at Westminster magistrates court on March 16.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) sent prosecutors a file of allegations that the three shared racist and misogynistic messages between April and August 2019 on a WhatsApp group that Couzens was part of.

The CPS said it could not confirm the names of the officers for operational reasons.

Rosemary Ainslie, the head of the CPS special crime division, said the service had authorised charges against the officers after the referral of evidence from the IOPC.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

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The two serving officers had initially been placed on restricted duties while the inquiry took place. However, the Met confirmed on Thursday that they had now been suspended.

The force said: “We are aware of charges brought against two serving Metropolitan police officers and one former officer about sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network. They are suspended from duty.”

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