Met officer accused of raping on WhatsApp says he was ‘ideal’ on the job

Oh

The former Metropolitan Police officer accused of joking about the rape of a colleague in a WhatsApp group with Sarah Everard’s killer has described himself as “perfect” for the job.

Joel Borders, 45, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court that “my image was perfect and I behaved perfectly”, and accused prosecutors of “blaming innocent police officers” over “jokes” in a private group. Trying to make criminals”.

Borders has denied allegations of misuse of a public electronic communications network between April 5 and August 9, 2019, as co-accused Met Constables Jonathan Cobbin, 35, and William Neville, 34.

Their WhatsApp chat, called “Bottle and Stoppers”, consisted of seven officers who had transferred to the Met from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

It is known that chat messages were found on Van Cozens’ phone during the investigation into Ms Everard’s murder last year, although the court has not directly referred to it because of other ongoing hearings.

Borders had worked for CNC since March 30, 2014, and was transferred to the Met on February 11, 2019.

He left the force on 9 December 2020 for unrelated reasons and before being told about Couzens or being investigated for misconduct in August 2021.

In messages first read to the court, Borders, from Preston, Lancashire, said: “I can’t wait to pick up a gun so I can shoot something in the face”, and suggested teasing people with Down syndrome.

Speaking of a female colleague, he also said that she would “lead me on and then lock me up when I raped her and hit her! You cowardly bitch”.

Under cross-examination by his lawyer Nicholas Yeo on Friday, Borders told the court he was “well thought out about the job”, and that his “joking” messages had been “blown out of proportion”.

He said that I was an exemplary officer. “I always came to work early, I always dressed smart, made sure my shoes were clean.

“My image was perfect and I treated people perfectly. I know I’m saying this, but I thought about the job well.

Borders admits he was “squeamish” when he first joined the Met in February 2019, but handling “sensitive matters” has changed his sense of humor.

He said his jokes were not intended to offend the people they were about, and gave the example of a joke he made about his mother, who has dementia, when she collapsed. And a few months ago he broke his hip.

She said she made her “exhausted” 75-year-old father laugh by telling her not to visit him in hospital if he was too tired because “he wouldn’t remember”.

“You could say it’s offensive to people with dementia, but it made my dad laugh, and suddenly his mood changed — his whole demeanor changed,” he said.

Later, during a heated exchange with prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward, Borders said: “You’re trying to criminalize innocent police officers.”

Serving Metropolitan Police Officer Jonathan Cobbin.

/ PA

Pointing to his former colleagues in the dock, he said: “Officers over there will probably lose their jobs, just because you’re exempt from some of the jokes.”

Cobbin, from Didcot, Oxfordshire, bowed his head and kept his eyes on the ground as the comments were made, before taking to the witness box himself.

In messages previously heard by the court, Cobain described a hospital patient as an “attention-seeking, self-harming fag” and London’s diverse Hounslow as a “Somali shithole”.

After this second comment, he added: “There are cat patrols… more like FGM (female genital cutting) patrols.”

Speaking on Friday, Cobain said the “cat patrol” joke was inspired by the Channel 4 comedy The Unbeaten Wieners, and that his FGM comment was unrelated to the region’s ethnic diversity.

Cobban said that like many emergency services workers, he had “developed a dark sense of humour”.

Responding to a joke about police sexual assaults on victims of domestic violence, Cobain also wrote in the group chat: “That’s right, DV victims love it… that’s why they’re victims more often. “

The PC described the comment as “quite obviously satirical” and “a way of venting frustration after attending domestic abuse calls where the callers will not cooperate with the police once they arrive”.

The officer said that in these cases, “most of the allegations are false”.

Serving Metropolitan Police PC William Neville.

/ PA

Cobain said: “Since then, I’ve been to a lot of housekeepers and some of them are heartbreaking. I don’t think the joke is funny anymore.

When Mr Yeo was asked if he thought the messages would be read by people outside the group chat, he said: “Not for a second.

“As far as I am concerned these messages were on a private, encrypted WhatsApp group and will not be read by anyone outside the group.”

Neville, of Weybridge, Surrey, watched from the dock, and is due to give evidence later on Friday.

On Thursday, Neville was accused by prosecutor Edward Browne QC of acting out a “rape fantasy” after he described the time he “took a 15-year-old girl in a coma on the floor. ” was described as the deployment of the “sling of struggle”.

The trial is ongoing.