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Police officer and former constable sentenced for sharing grossly offensive WhatsApp messages

A serving police officer and an ex-police constable have been sentenced after being convicted of sending grossly offensive messages on a WhatsApp group.

PC Jonathon Cobban, 35, and former officer Joel Borders, 45, were both found guilty by City of London Magistrates’ Court on 21 September 2022. A third defendant was found not guilty of all charges.

Yesterday at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Cobban and Borders were both sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment.

The pair were bailed ahead of an appeal to the High Court. 

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The messages exchanged between these officers were disturbing and sickening, and it is unfathomable that those tasked with upholding the law could think it right to share this grossly offensive material.

“The court agreed that the messages amounted to criminal offences, and it is only right that Cobban and Borders are punished for their abhorrent actions.

“Let me be clear, where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so, the CPS will always prosecute these offences robustly.”

Notes to editors

  • Joel Borders [06/10/1976] was found guilty of five separate offences of sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to S127 of the Communications Act 2003. Sentenced to 12 weeks' concurrent for each of the five offences. 
  • Jonathon Cobban [08/01/1987] was found guilty of three separate offences of sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to S127 of the Communications Act 2003. Sentenced to 12 weeks' concurrent for each of the three offences.
  • The CPS Special Crime Division deals with the most complex and sensitive cases in England and Wales including disasters, serious criminal allegations against police officers, corporate manslaughter and election offences. 
Channel website: https://www.cps.gov.uk/

Original article link: https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/police-officer-and-former-constable-sentenced-sharing-grossly-offensive-whatsapp-messages

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