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Ex-Metropolitan police officers sentenced after sending racist messages


Six former Metropolitan Police officers have been sentenced after sending grossly offensive messages in a Whatsapp group chat.

Michael Chadwell, 62, Peter Booth, 66, Anthony Elsom, 67, Trevor Lewton, 65, Alan Hall, 65 and Robert Lewis, 62, each appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court today (7 December 2023). They were sentenced to between 6 and 14 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

Chadwell, Booth, Elsom, Lewton, Hall and Lewis were all members of the ‘Old Boys Beer Meet- Wales’ group chat, where a number of racist, homophobic and sexist messages were exchanged.

The group chat was initially established in August 2018 for police officers to maintain contact after retirement. However, between September 2020 and September 2022 over 60 messages with offensive content were shared between members of the group.

Adeniyi Ogunleye from the CPS said: “It is shocking that six retired police officers who spent their careers upholding the law could think it was acceptable to send these grossly offensive messages.

“The sentences given today clearly demonstrate that they were not just shocking or disturbing jokes, but grossly offensive messages that amount to criminal behaviour.

“This case sends a clear signal that whenever our legal test is met, the CPS will prosecute these offences robustly.”

Notes to editors

  • The defendants were all charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network offence, contrary to section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003 and were sentenced as follows:
    • Michael Chadwell [DOB: 14.12.1960 from Liss, Hampshire] - 10 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and 100 hours’ unpaid work.
    • Peter Booth [DOB: 20.07.1957 from Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire] - 8 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and 140 hours’ unpaid work.
    • Anthony Elsom [DOB:18.05.1956 from Bournemouth, Dorset] - 8 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and 40 hours' unpaid work.
    • Trevor Lewton [DOB: 22.03.1958 from Swansea, South Wales] - 6 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and 65 hours’ unpaid work.
    • Alan Hall [DOB: 15.04.1958 from Stowmarket, Suffolk] - 8 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and 140 hours’ unpaid work.
    • Robert Lewis [DOB: 01.03.1961 from Camberley, Surrey] - 14 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 200 hours’ unpaid work, and 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement Days. He was also sentenced for possessing two friction batons in a private place, contrary to section 141(1A) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and was fined £500.
  • Adeniyi Ogunleye is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the London South Complex Casework Unit.

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