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Five former Met Police officers plead guilty to sending racist messages

07 Sep 2023 3 minute read
The New Scotland Yard sign outside the Metropolitan Police headquarters in London. Photo Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Five former Metropolitan Police officers, two of whom now live in Wales, have admitted sending grossly offensive racist messages, including about the Duchess of Sussex, on WhatsApp.

They entered their guilty pleas at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon.

One of them, Robert Lewis, was a Home Office official before being dismissed for gross misconduct last November, the government department said.

Lewis, 62, of Camberley, Surrey, admitted eight counts of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in May 2015.

Peter Booth, 66, of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to four counts of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in April 2001.

Anthony Elsom, 67, of Bournemouth, Dorset, pleaded guilty to three counts of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in May 2012.

Alan Hall, 65, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, entered guilty pleas to three counts of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in June 2015.

And Trevor Lewton, 65, of Swansea, South Wales, pleaded guilty to one count of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in August 2009.

According to the charges, some of the messages shared in the chat referenced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the late Queen and Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, as well as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, former Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

The charges, which relate to messages shared between September 2020 and 2022, come after a BBC Newsnight investigation in October last year that prompted a probe by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.

The officers, who retired between 2001 and 2015, were charged by post with offences under the Communications Act 2003.

The five men were not serving at any point during their participation in the group, the Met made clear.

It added that they served in various parts of the Met throughout their careers and all spent time in what is now known as the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.

Another former Met officer, Michael Chadwell, denied one count of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in November 2015.

The 62-year-old, from Liss, Hampshire, will stand trial on November 6 at the City of London Magistrates’ Court.

The other five will be sentenced on the same day and at the same court after the conclusion of Chadwell’s trial.

All six men have been granted unconditional bail in the mean time.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 months ago

How many bad apples is that this year so far?

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
7 months ago

What are the nationality of these men or is the point that some now live in Wales
Welsh nationals working in. England must expect English justice for. crimes carried out there but they are also guilty of damaging our standing on the world stage and should be punished as such on reentry to our Country Wales

Martyn Vaughan
7 months ago

If the offence warrants dismissal how is that they always retire first! I assume this guarantees their pensions.

Another Richard
Another Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Vaughan

Have you read the article? It states that the officers retired between 2001 and 2015 and that the messages were shared between September 2020 and 2022. It adds, so that there can be no doubt about the matter, that “the five men were not serving at any point during their participation in the group.” So the question of dismissal really does not arise as the accused were not serving officers at the time of their offences.

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