A WEST Mercia Police officer from Redditch has denied sending grossly offensive messages.

West Mercia Police Constable Joann Jinks has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sending a grossly offensive or menacing message by a public communication network.

The 41-year-old appeared alongside former West Mercia Police officer, James Watts of Clifton Road, Castle Bromwich at Birmingham Magistrates Court on May 13.

Watts, aged 31, admitted to ten counts of the same charge.

The alleged offences involve racially discriminatory material being shared by the defendants on WhatsApp at a time when they were both serving police constables in May and June 2020.  

The court heard that Watts was charged after a police inquiry into ten memes posted in May and June 2020.

Redditch Advertiser: ames Watts (right) was accompanied by Police Federation representatives for the court hearing. (Matthew Cooper/PA)ames Watts (right) was accompanied by Police Federation representatives for the court hearing. (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Another message was found after a Twitter user claimed a serving policeman had posted racist memes.

Prosecutor Richard Purchase told the court: “Mr Watts was a probationary police officer with West Mercia Police.

“Four of them (the memes) explicitly referred to George Floyd and the ongoing protests, and to some extent, mocked his death.

“The other six appear to be more general racist memes.”

Adjourning sentence on Watts until next month, the Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram told him: “I will seek a pre-sentence report.

“At this stage, I am not going to rule out custody. There are aggravating features in this case.

“The court has to bear in mind the considerable reputational damage there can be by this sort of offending when one is dealing with police officers.”

Jinks was granted unconditional bail to appear for trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 23.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said in April: “Our investigation began in June 2020 following a referral from West Mercia Police after intelligence was received by the force.”