A FORMER Metropolitan Police officer from Bournemouth has pleaded guilty to sending racist messages on WhatsApp about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

Anthony Elsom, 67, of Bournemouth was one of five former police officers who have pleaded guilty this afternoon at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Elsom pleaded guilty to three counts of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages.

He admitted sending a photo of William and Kate greeting young black children, with imposed speech bubbles containing racist remarks.

He retired from the Met in May 2012.

The charges stated that some of the messages shared in the chat by the officers referenced members of the Royal Family and those in government. 

It included 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 related to messaged shared between September 2020 to 2022. 

A BBC Newsnight investigation in October last year 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.

Commander James Harman, who leads the Met’s Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, previously stated when the charges were made that the Met are ‘working relentlessly’ to rebuild the public’s trust.

He added that the honest majority of Met officers are fully behind this work and are ‘tired’ of being let down by a minority in policing.

Elsom and the other four men are set to be sentenced on November 6 at the City of London Magistrates’ Court.

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

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Last month, a Dorset Police inspector was also found guilty at a misconduct hearing for posting offensive messages and failing to challenge the behaviour of colleagues he supervised.

Inspector Nicholas Mantle was told he will never police again as he was placed on the barred list by the College of Policing.

Inspector Mantle was found guilty of posting two offensive images in the WhatsApp group, for not leaving the group and failing to treat members of the public and colleagues with respect and/or courtesy.

The misconduct panel ruled that the contents of a WhatsApp group contained sexual, pornographic, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, bullying, abusive, offensive and inappropriate messages.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Dorset Police, Rachel Farrell, previously told the Echo she was ‘appalled’ by the behaviour.