Herts police officers shared rape 'jokes' and bestiality porn on WhatsApp
- Credit: Dominic Lipinski/Peter Byrne/PA/Archant
Two Hertfordshire police officers shared bestiality porn and rape jokes on WhatsApp groups - which also contained racist, homophobic and sexist language.
Former PCs Robert Goldstone and Charles Phipps, who worked for Hertfordshire Constabulary, were banned from serving in any police force following a hearing at Welwyn Garden City on May 31, 2022.
Another officer, PC Mark Williams who was based in Stevenage, was found to have used homophobic slurs, and on one occasion wrote the phrase: "I was out raping".
In reports published by the force this week, former PCs Goldstone and Phipps were found to have been part of a chat group called "Danny's got a sore vagina".
An Accelerated Misconduct Hearing heard how, on February 29, 2019, the duo received a picture showing an act of bestiality.
Chief Constable Charlie Hall found that all three officers' behaviour was "damaging" to public confidence in Hertfordshire's police force.
In the case of Mr Goldstone, a report reads: "In this case the evidence shows that there are numerous messages sent by Mr Goldstone on closed WhatsApp groups that are misogynistic and use homophobic slurs."
These included the repeated use of the homophobic slurs "f**got" and "bender".
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He also used the n-word, a racist slur, on one occasion.
The report reads: "I am satisfied that the evidence also shows that he received on one occasion a pornographic image depicting bestiality.
"On no occasions has he sought to challenge or report the content of this messaging, instead he has fully participated in it.
"I have considered Mr Goldstone's right to privacy given that these messages were shared in a private WhatsApp group.
"The contents, however, are so discriminatory and repetitive in nature that they do represent a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour and do have potential to discredit the police service."
Mr Goldstone accepted the facts of the case and that they amounted to misconduct. He did not agree they amounted to gross misconduct.
In the case of Mr Phipps, Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: "He sent messages or did not challenge messages that were discriminatory on grounds of race and sexuality, were misogynistic, contained racist terms, were insulting towards colleagues, used rape and sex offences as a topic of humour, and used offensive language."
He added: "Had these facts not been admitted by Mr Phipps, I would have comfortably found these to be proved on the balance of probabilities given the weight of evidence presented."
Mr Phipps agreed with Chief Constable Hall that the case amounted to gross misconduct.
Both Mr Goldstone and Mr Phipps would have been dismissed from the force, had they not decided to leave already, the report read.
The report into Mr Williams reads: "PC Williams has been entirely responsible for his own behaviour resulting in his misconduct.
"He has entered these messages into WhatsApp chats of his own free will."
It adds: "The use of discriminatory language within these messages has not been accidental, it has been intended and has been done repeatedly.
"He could have chosen not to so engage but he did not, instead he acknowledged in his regulation 54 response that he allowed himself to become embroiled in a toxic culture of distasteful jokery."
On 12 occasions, Mr Williams was found to have used homophobic and misogynistic slurs.
As well as the phrase "I was out raping", Mr Williams used the phrases "paedo t**ts" and "gayyy" in an offensive context.
The report reads: "He accepted in interview that these comments about rape are inappropriate, indicating that these are related to an ongoing joke about his starey eyes.
"He acknowledged how awful these sound, especially given the national concern about violence against women and girls following the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer."
Mr Williams was studying towards a policing degree, the report adds.
He accepted that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, and was dismissed without notice.
All three former officers' names have been added to a list of people who must not be re-employed in any police force, maintained by the College of Policing.