Words: Alastair James; pictures CPS
Wayne Couzens, the man who murdered Sarah Everard, shared homophobic, racist, and misogynistic messages with several other officers as part of a WhatsApp group, it has emerged.
The vile texts were found on his phone following his arrest over Everard’s killing in March.
Five officers in the group, including three serving Metropolitan police officers, one from Norfolk Constabulary and another from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary are being investigated.
“Discriminatory and/or inappropriate nature”
Earlier this week a court heard how Couzens abused his power to abduct Everard before raping and killing her. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The Times has learned that The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into whether the officers concerned committed gross misconduct and could face criminal proceedings.
The officers made jokes about violence against women amongst other horrendous messages, described by the IOPC as being “discriminatory and/or inappropriate nature”.
They are also being investigated “for allegedly failing to challenge the messages sent by the others.”
However, the IOPC states that “criminal or gross misconduct investigations do not necessarily mean that charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.”
It’s also been revealed that Couzens was known by colleagues as “the rapist”.
771 Met officers and staff have faced sexual misconduct allegations since 2010, according to Freedom of Information requests. At least 44 have been convicted of sexual offences.