Two police officers have been jailed for 12 weeks for sharing racist and misogynistic messages in a WhatsApp group.
Metropolitan Police officer Jonathon Cobban, 35, and his ex-colleague PC Joel Borders “joked” about tasering children and people with disabilities.
They also made horrific racist remarks about the borough of Hounslow, in west London.
Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens was a member of the same WhatsApp group, which was named “Bottle and Stoppers” after the Cockney rhyming slang for coppers.
Cobban and Borders were both found guilty of posting “grossly racist, sexist and misogynistic” messages in September.
Today they were jailed at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. However, District Judge Sarah Turnock bailed the pair ahead of an appeal against their convictions at the High Court.
The court heard how they joked about raping a female colleague, talked about tasering children and people with disabilities, and displayed racist views in the group in 2019.
The messages were found after Couzens kidnapped, raped and strangled to death Sarah in March last year.
Cobban was found guilty of three counts of sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network, while Borders was convicted of five charges after a Westminster Magistrates’ Court trial.
District Judge Turnock jailed Cobban and Borders for 12 weeks on Wednesday, saying she could not think of “more grossly offensive messages”.
The judge said: “They encapsulated the full range of prejudiced views, racism, misogyny, ableism and homophobia.
“There was no intention on the part of the defendants to cause any harm to the persons to whom these messages relate or the minor groups of society who are undoubtedly affected by these messages.
“The persons to whom these messages relate will undoubtedly be caused great distress by knowing police officers find it funny to joke about them in such a deeply offensive manner.”
The judge said the messages “represent jokes specifically targeted or about people or groups as police officers “they had sworn an oath to protect”.
“Significant harm has undoubtedly been caused to public confidence in policing as a result of these offences.”
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime Division, previously said: “It is incomprehensible that serving police officers could think it was right to share these kinds of grossly offensive messages with others.”
Referring to their guilty verdicts, Ms Ainslie added: “By these verdicts, the court has agreed that they were not just shocking or disturbing banter, but they amounted to criminal offences.
“Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so, the CPS will always prosecute these offences robustly.”
Borders kept his eyes fixed on the ceiling as the judgment was delivered and Cobban remained expressionless.
Borders and Cobban swapped what they claimed was “banter” about tasering children and people with disabilities, and made racist remarks about Hounslow in comments made in the group in 2019.
In an exchange on April 5 that year, Borders wrote: “I can’t wait to get on guns so I can shoot some c* in the face!”
Cobban responded: “Me too. I want to taser a cat and a dog to see which reacts better.
“I think the cat will get more pissed off and the dog will s. I wanna test this theory. Same with children. Zap zap you little f*.”
Borders replied by suggesting adding a deeply offensive term related to people with Down’s syndrome to the list.
On April 25 2019, Borders joked about raping a female colleague, who he referred to as a “sneaky b****”, language which the judge said was “misogynistic and aggressive in its nature and is a clear example of victim blaming”.