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CPS authorise charges against three police officers over WhatsApp comments

|News, Cyber / online crime

This release (originally published on Thursday 17 February) has been updated to include the names of the three defendants.

Rosemary Ainslie, Head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Following a referral of evidence by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the CPS has authorised charges against two serving Metropolitan Police officers and one former officer.

“PC Jonathon Cobban, 35, PC William Neville, 33, and former officer Joel Borders, 45, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 16 March for their first hearing.

“Each of the three defendants has been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network. The alleged offences took place on a WhatsApp group chat.

“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges to a court to consider.

“Criminal proceedings are active and nothing should be published that could jeopardise the defendants right to a fair trial.”

Notes to editors

  • Jonathon Cobban [8/1/1987] is charged with 5 x sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to S127 of the Communications Act 2003.
  • Joel Borders [6/10/1976] is charged with 5 x sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to S127 of the Communications Act 2003.
  • William Neville [14/3/1988] is charged with 2 x sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to S127 of the Communications Act 2003.

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