Met Police officer feared Harvey Price Whatsapp chat would ruin job if exposed

A former Metropolitan Police officer, who is accused of engaging in offensive messages about Katie Price’s son Harvey, reportedly said he was worried the Whatsapp group would ruin his career if it were to be exposed. 

Eight former and serving police officers from the South East Command Unit are facing a disciplinary hearing this week, accused of sending discriminatory and derogatory messages about Harvey, 20, in a Whatsapp group chat titled Secret Squirrel S**t’ between May 2016 and June 2018. 

Harvey has Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic condition resulting in obesity, and Septo-Optic Dysplasia, which affects sight and the development of the brain. 

Earlier this week, the panel heard how Sgt Luke Thomas joked about naming his dog Auschwitz, called a rapist cop a ‘legend in my eyes’, and said any non-binary person was ‘an utter c’, as well as repeatedly mocking Harvey. 

As the hearing continued on Wednesday, it was claimed that former Pc Lee South, who disputes none of the allegations and admits gross misconduct, told the chat: ‘If any of this group got out my job would be f* long ago.’ 

Chair Christopher McKay used this comment to argue that South showed a ‘realisation’ that what he was doing was ‘completely inappropriate’. 

South also made several racist comments in the WhatsApp group, including that he has ‘always got time for racism’, referred to a Black male as ‘it’ and made a reference to ‘cotton picking’ when talking about a Black Inspector.

He also used the terms ‘pikey’, ‘chink’, and ‘Paki’ and said at one point: ‘I aim to offend many Jews tonight.’ 

The panel also heard how South was among the officers who contributed to the mocking of Harvey in light of his weight and disability. 

All eight officers are accused of making comments about Officer A, a woman, including calling her ‘f***ing ugly’, likening her to a man, sumo wrestler and Roald Dahl villain ‘Trunchbull’, as well as referring to her as ‘it’. 

Former Pc Kelsey Buchan, the only female officer facing the misconduct hearing, acknowledged that her comments about Office A were ‘immature and inappropriate’.

It emerged that Buchan became friends with Officer A and apologised to her after the allegations came out.

Former acting sergeant Luke Allen said he was ‘ashamed’ of his comments in general.

He stated: ‘In hindsight I wouldn’t have been part of such an abhorrent culture. I am disgusted with myself. Some of the content posted by others has made me feel physically sick for not standing up for what was right at the time.’ 

Former Pc Carlo Francisco added that he felt the ‘old school culture’ of the chat was beyond his control,’ while Officer B – who has been granted anonymity – said his career has been ‘significantly affected’ by the allegations and that, having reread the comments, he feels ‘embarrassed’ and ‘appalled’ by the language used by his colleagues.

Harvey’s mother Katie has expressed her ‘disgust’ at the messages in the Whatsapp group, and said: ‘It’s pure betrayal, I was in shock at first, then I felt sick, heartbroken and angry. It’s not enough for these people to just lose their jobs if found guilty, if this has happened to a vulnerable adult like Harvey, it will be happening to others.’ 

She added to The Sunday Mirror: ‘I can stick up for myself. When it comes to my son, it’s different.

‘Harvey is so vulnerable, so innocent. He doesn’t have a bad bone in his body – all he wants is to love people and be happy. He doesn’t deserve this from anyone.’ 

All eight officers are subject to three allegations and are said to have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to equality and diversity, authority, respect and courtesy, challenging and reporting improper conduct and discreditable conduct.

Two of the officers are still in the Met. PC Glynn Rees and Officer B deny gross misconduct.

Ex-officers Allen, Francisco and South each admit at least one count of gross misconduct.

Buchan admits only misconduct while PC Darren Jenner has not responded to the allegations.

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