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Serving and ex-Met officers guilty of sending misogynistic and racist messages

A serving Metropolitan Police officer and a former constable have been found guilty of sending misogynistic and racist messages in a WhatsApp group with Wayne Couzens.

Met constables William Neville, 34, and Jonathon Cobban, 35, and former PC Joel Borders, 45, were members of the chat group called “Bottle and Stoppers”.

Neville was today cleared of sending grossly offensive messages but the other two officers were convicted following a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Cobban was found guilty of three counts of sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network and Borders of five counts of the same charge. 

Borders and Cobban had swapped what they called “banter” about tasering children and people with disabilities, and referred to Hounslow as a “Somali shithole” in comments made in the group in 2019.

In an exchange on April 5 that year, Borders wrote: “I can’t wait to get on guns so I can shoot some c*** in the face!”

Cobban responded: “Me too. I want to taser a cat and a dog to see which reacts better. I think the cat will get more pissed off and the dog will shit. I wanna test this theory. Same with children. Zap zap you little f******.”

Borders replied suggesting adding “downys”, a term the prosecution said referred to people with Down’s syndrome, to the list.

The verdict was delivered today at City of London Magistrates’ Court, during which Judge Sarah Turnock said it was  “abhorrent” that Borders “demonstrates an ableist attitude by then adding a disabled person to Cobban’s disgusting list of victims”.

On April 25 2019, Borders joked about raping a female colleague, who he referred to as a “sneaky bitch”, language which the judge said was “misogynistic and aggressive in its nature and is a clear example of victim blaming”.

Borders kept his eyes fixed on the ceiling as the judgment was delivered and Cobban remained expressionless. Neville smiled as he was cleared of both counts against him and allowed to leave the dock.

The pair will be sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 2.

The two serving officers are currently suspended - misconduct proceedings are due to continue without delay now criminal proceedings have concluded. 

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