Police officers who mocked Katie Price’s son Harvey found guilty of gross misconduct
Eight serving and former Metropolitan Police officers, including seven men and one woman, have been found guilty of gross misconduct over “discriminatory and offensive” messages they shared.
The officers were found to have sent messages in a WhatsApp group that were sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and disablist, where they also made fun of 44 year old Katie Price ’s disabled son, Harvey, 20.
During the hearings Legal chairman Christopher McKay described gross misconduct as a “breach of the standards of professional behaviour that is so serious as to justify dismissal”.
He found each officer to have committed gross misconduct over their own messages, as well as by “failing to challenge or report” the conduct of others in the group.
Their messages included derogatory comments about 20-year-old Harvey, who suffers from Prader–Willi syndrome and autism.
Mr McKay said one of the offending officers posted an edited photo in the group chat of Harvey along with a rhyme that “has a racist tone and refers to his disability”.
Mr McKay said the post was a “significant breach of the standard of equality and diversity”, “inappropriate and offensive” to Harvey, and constitutes “gross misconduct”.
The panel found the most senior-ranking officer in the group, Mr Thomas, “appears to have been one of the most active participants” in the WhatsApp group.
Mr McKay said: “Given his supervisory role as a sergeant, he failed to adequately supervise or guide his team in respect of conduct. His failings are extremely serious.
“He could and should have closed the WhatsApp group as soon as the highly inappropriate nature of the messages became apparent.
“Instead he became one of its main contributors. This was undoubtedly gross misconduct.”
Mr Jenner, one of the offending officers, contributed to the conversation citing concentration camps, while the panel found that serving Pc Rees was “making fun of him behaving in a childlike manner because of his disability”.
Mr Allen, who resigned in January and said he felt “ashamed” by his comments, posted a photograph of himself in the chat attempting to imitate Harvey, with the caption: “Hello you c***."
He also used inappropriate terms to describe mentally disabled people, made “offensive references to Germans and Nigerians”, and about “a victim of sexual assault”.
The panel heard that Mr South, who was “one of the more active members” of the chat, said: “If any of this group got out my job would be f***** long ago" and also made several racist comments.
None of the officers attended the misconduct hearing on Thursday and the outcome is due to be announced on Friday.
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