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Trial dismissed for officer charged with offensive messages

West Mercia PC, Joann Jinks, had been facing three counts of sending a grossly offensive message by public communication network.

A West Mercia officer has been cleared of sending offensive messages after a judge found prosecutors did not bring the charges in time. 

PC Joann Jinks, 41, was facing a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this week but she has now been formally found not guilty after legal argument. 

PC Jinks’ co-defendant PC James Watts was jailed for 20 weeks earlier this year after admitting 10 counts of the same charge. 

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court had heard Watts had been sending racist memes posted in a WhatsApp group chat, among which were an image of a white dog wearing Ku Klux Klan clothing and a kneeling mat with George Floyd’s face on it. 

The IOPC had previously investigated both cases when it was referred to them in June 2020. Their investigation concluded in April 2021 and a report was sent to the CPS. 

In PC Jinks’ case, the CPS had decided to take no further action in June 2021. However, Police Oracle understands that following an appeal by the IOPC, the CPS reviewed the evidence and subsequently authorised the three charges in October last year. 

A postal requisition was not sent until March of this year, however.. 

This week, Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram said that  PC Jinks cannot be tried on the charges because the requisition had not been made within the rules - the alleged offence was not brought to the attention of the court within six months of the CPS receiving the evidence as per s.127 of the Magistrates’ Court Act. 

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