Met officer and ex-colleague guilty of sending 'sickening' messages in WhatsApp group with Sarah Everard's killer

·2-min read

A serving Metropolitan Police officer and a former colleague have been found guilty of sending grossly offensive misogynistic and racist messages in a WhatsApp group with Sarah Everard's killer.

Met constables William Neville, 34, and Jonathon Cobban, 35, and former PC Joel Borders, 45, were members of the chat called "Bottle and Stoppers" along with Wayne Couzens.

Couzens is serving a whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape, and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Ms Everard in March 2021, when he was working in the Met.

Neville was cleared of sending grossly offensive messages but his two colleagues were convicted on Wednesday following a trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July.

Borders and Cobban swapped what they claimed was "banter" about tasering children and people with disabilities, and referred to Hounslow as a "Somali s*******" in comments made in the group in 2019.

In an exchange on 5 April 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 p***** off and the dog will s***. I wanna test this theory. Same with children. Zap zap you little f******."

Borders replied suggesting adding an offensive term which the prosecution said referred to people with Down's syndrome, to the list.

Delivering a verdict at City of London Magistrates' Court, 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".

She added: "I can honestly say that I consider it to be sickening to think of a police officer joking about using firearms in this way."

On 25 April 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".

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