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Met Police officer suggested he name dog Fred or Ian after his ‘favourite child sex killers’

Police officer also made derogatory comments about Katie Price’s son Harvey

Ellie Ng
Tuesday 21 February 2023 15:56 GMT
Officers accused of using WhatsApp group to post sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic comments
Officers accused of using WhatsApp group to post sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic comments (PA Wire)

A former Metropolitan Police officer suggested in a WhatsApp group with other officers that he name his dog “Fred” or “Ian” after his “two favourite child sex killers”, a misconduct hearing has heard.

It is alleged that eight serving and former officers attached to the South East Command Unit used a WhatsApp group, entitled “Secret Squirrel S***”, between May 2016 and June 2018 to post comments that were sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and “applauded sexual violence against women”.

Derogatory comments about Katie Price’s son Harvey were also made in the group chat, the hearing was told.

Former Ps Luke Thomas, former acting Ps Luke Allen, former Pc Kelsey Buchan, former Pc Carlo Francisco, former Pc Lee South, former Pc Darren Jenner, Pc Glynn Rees, and Officer B, who has been granted anonymity, faced a gross misconduct hearing at Empress State Building in Fulham, west London, on Tuesday.

All eight officers are subject to three allegations and are said to have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to equality and diversity, authority, respect and courtesy, challenging and reporting improper conduct and discreditable conduct.

The first allegation concerns comments and posts made by officers in the WhatsApp group, the second relates to comments about a female colleague, Officer A, and the third is in relation to the officers failing to report the content.

Thomas, who was the highest ranking officer in the WhatsApp group, faces an additional allegation of failing to adequately supervise his team and legitimising the “derisory chat” as team sergeant. As a result, he is further accused of breaching standards of professional behaviour in relation to duties and responsibilities.

Daniel Hobbs, representing the police, detailed specific comments made by Thomas, the most senior officer at the time. The former sergeant accepted the comments he made were forms of misconduct that accumulatively amounted to gross misconduct, the panel heard.

The hearing was told on Tuesday that Thomas suggested to the WhatsApp group that he name his dog “Auschwitz”, “Adolf” or “Fred” or “Ian” after “my two favourite child sex killers”.

Thomas also made several posts about TV personality Katie Price’s son Harvey, who suffers from Prader–Willi syndrome and autism.

The 44-year-old model and TV personality shared an image of a letter detailing the misconduct on her Instagram story on Friday.

Katie Price pictured with her son Harvey (Nick Ansell/PA)

In the letter, which was addressed to Price and dated January 26, an investigator from the Discrimination Investigation Unit within the Professional Standards Department of the Met Police informed her that “a number of Metropolitan Police officers are alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in regards to Discreditable Conduct for being part of a WhatsApp group chat that has posted inappropriate and derogatory images of your son, Harvey Price”.

The disciplinary panel heard that Thomas referred to Harvey in the WhatsApp group and mocked his weight.

Mr Hobbs further detailed comments Thomas made about Officer A, a junior female officer who was assigned to their team for a period of time, calling her “f****** ugly”. Thomas also referred to Officer A as “it”, the panel heard.

In response to the comments, the panel heard that Thomas acknowledged that they were inappropriate.

Mr Hobbs also outlined comments made in the WhatsApp group in general, which allegedly included offensive terms for disabled people.

In another conversation, one of the officers referred to a male police officer who “once got away with rape” and said he was “a legend in my eyes”, the panel heard.

Mr Hobbs said the officers fostered a “toxic, abhorrent culture” and that their actions are so serious as to justify dismissal.

Three former officers – Thomas, Allen and South admit gross misconduct for all allegations. Former officer Francisco admits gross misconduct for the first allegation and misconduct for the other two.

Serving officer Rees and former officer Buchan admit misconduct for all allegations.

Officer B denies the first allegation and admits misconduct for the second and third allegation.

Former PC Jenner has not engaged with the misconduct hearing and the police have taken that to mean he does not admit either misconduct nor gross misconduct.

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