Three Met Police officers charged over ‘offensive’ WhatsApps with Sarah Everard killer Wayne Counzens

Two serving Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers and one former MPS officer are to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

Three Met Police officers are charged with allegations of “grossly offensive” WhatsApps they are accused of sharing with Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens.

Two serving Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers and one former MPS officer are to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

Her body was later found in Ashford, Kent.

A family handout photo of Sarah Everard issued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Advertisement

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) spokesperson said: “They are charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

“The offences are alleged to have occurred between April and August 2019.

“Our investigation began following a referral from the MPS in April last year (2021) and was completed in December when we referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

“The CPS has now taken the decision to authorise charges against the officers.”

Usually defendants are named when they are charged, however the Crown Prosecution Service has said it is not currently releasing the officers’ identities due to “operational reasons”.

Advertisement

Wayne Couzens

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Following a referral of evidence by the IOPC, the CPS has authorised charges against two serving Met Police officers and one former officer.

“All three will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 16 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.

Advertisement

“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.”

She added: “Criminal proceedings are active and nothing should be published that could jeopardise the defendants right to a fair trial.”