Senior Met officer Richard Watkinson accused of having a secret room full of child porn found dead at home

Richard Watkinson was nicknamed ‘Sir Smashy’ after a Harry Enfield character (Supplied)
Richard Watkinson was nicknamed ‘Sir Smashy’ after a Harry Enfield character (Supplied)

A leading Metropolitan Police officer is suspected of killing himself after thousands of items of child pornography of the “utmost severity”, sex toys and child’s underwear were discovered in a trap door of his home.

Chief Inspector Richard Watkinson was found dead by fellow officers on the day he was due to attend a police station to be charged over the stash of child porn and boys’ pants allegedly found in a secret room.

The “popular” senior officer was often used by Scotland Yard to give talks on domestic violence or to speak to the media after large drug busts.

One source told The Sun that Watkinson was due to report back on bail last Thursday to be charged over an alleged link to a network of online paedophiles.

It is believed he feared his name was about to be made public in connection with the alleged conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children.

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One former colleague told The Sun: “He was a popular governor and his arrest caused a great deal of shock.

“There was talk of thousands of images and videos being found behind a trap door in his home.

“He had been under huge mental strain while he was on bail and there were concerns that he was suicidal.

“The worst fears for his health have now been realised and he was found dead last week. It is suspected he killed himself.”

He was arrested on July 9, 2021, over allegations of misconduct, sending obscene messages, corrupt exercise of police powers and data protection breaches.

Eleven days later he was held on suspicion of offences including conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children, voyeurism and misconduct in public office.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Met officers attended an address in Buckinghamshire on the afternoon of Thursday, 12 January following welfare concerns and found the body of a man in his 40s’.”

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: “Officers were called to Saunderton, Princes Risborough, at just after 3.35pm on Thursday 12 January.

“Sadly, the body of a man was located inside a property at that location. The man’s death is unexplained but not suspicious. A file will be prepared for the coroner.

“His next of kin have been made aware and our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.”

His death came as all police forces were told on Wednesday to check their officers and staff against national police databases to identify further rogue officers who need to be removed in the wake of the David Carrick scandal.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has also asked the College of Policing to strengthen police vetting rules by making them stricter and clearer, as well as legally binding.

Carrick, 48, is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to a total of 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape, against 12 women between 2003 and 2020.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.